New draftees Tom Anastasopoulos, Xavier Walsh, Will Lorenz and Lachie Charleson pose on their first day at the club. Image: Matt Sampson.

PORT ADELAIDE's latest draft crop began living their AFL dream on Monday, enjoying their first day of pre-season training at Alberton. 

Lachlan Charleson, Tom Anastasopoulos, Will Lorenz and Xavier Walsh arrived in Adelaide on Sunday afternoon after being picked up in the draft, less than a week ago. 

The quartet spoke to the Adelaide media for the first time on Monday afternoon, following day one of training. 


Lachlan Charleson 

"I was born and bred in Ballarat, played all my local footy through Ballarat and into the Rebels Academy and into the Vic Country squad this year which was unreal, an unreal experience, a great bunch of boys and lucky enough to be drafted to Port."

"It means everything (to be here). From a young age, it's been the end goal to have the opportunity to play AFL footy and all the sacrifices I've taken over the years, me and my family, it means a lot."

"My dad knew a lot about Port so he's told me a bit. I knew it had a rich history, 150 years-plus in the SANFL, made in 1870 so I'm keen to know everything about this place and know the ins and outs."

"(After the draft) Butters, Rozee, Horne-Francis, all those boys texted me which was great, a bit surreal. Ken Hinkley gave me a call shortly after as well, so it was great."

"I came (to Adelaide) once a couple of years ago, it was actually the hottest day on record. It was 51 degrees when I came, or around that, so I didn’t really leave the apartment actually because I went outside and burnt to a crisp straight away! So this is my first time really in Adelaide and I'm loving it." 


"(First session was) unreal, unreal to get it under the belt so didn’t really know what to expect. It was hot, a lot hotter than it is at home but I loved it though. Looking forward to tomorrow."

"The likes of Ollie Wines, Rozee, Butters, Horne-Francis, those boys running around, chasing you, it's definitely surreal and something I'll remember for a long time." 

Tom Anastasopoulos 

"It was unreal, training with the big guns like Zak Butters, Jason Horne-Francis, it's a dream come true so it's a good day."

"I was born down in Geelong, local club was Newtown, then played with the Geelong Falcons and then lucky enough to be part of the Vic Country squad, and then lucky to get drafted here so it’s been good."

"I actually came (to Adelaide) at the start of the year for school footy for a camp so we played a few schools up there. It was another hot day, similar to Lachie, wasn't quite 51 degrees though, I think it was 30-odd. It's a really nice place, probably as big as Geelong everyone says."

Tom Anastasopoulos joins the club from the Geelong Falcons, where he impressed with his craftiness and pressure. Image: Matt Sampson.

"Everyone calls me Tommy or Tommy A, but a few people around here have been calling me the Greek Freak."

"I'd probably say I'm a pressure forward, so I base my game off my pressure and get on the end of it and kick goals and try and use my run as much as I can. Tackling and goal ability are probably my weapons."

"Zak Butters is a good player to watch or Connor Rozee…they’re probably two key players here so watching them and how they go out there on the track is pretty surreal."

"We had a little game out there (at training) and I thought I was free with the ball and next minute I just got smacked into the ground by Zak Butters and I thought, jeez his intensity and training standards are elite, the best I've ever seen at training."


"I knew (Port Adelaide) had the most SANFL premierships and won an (AFL) premiership in 2004 against Brissie, so I knew that, but that's probably about it about the club. I knew they were a very good club and very supportive."

"Another Geelong boy to (play alongside is Esava Ratugolea). I remember I've spoken to Sav down there, I've got a few mates who play for Geelong as well so I've met him a few times. He's a great guy so it will be good to play alongside him."

Will Lorenz 

"It's pretty surreal to be honest. It's been my dream since I was a little kid and could even think about it and now, getting the opportunity of being drafted to Port Adelaide is an unreal experience."

"I started playing juniors at Kew Rovers in Melbourne and then moved junior clubs a few times and ended up at Oakleigh Chargers this year and a bit last year and got invited to the Australia Academy and also Vic Metro. They were great programs to learn from and now fortunate enough to be drafted to Port Adelaide."

"I’m more of an outside player, left footer so I like to use the ball by foot. I feel like I've got pretty clean hands and I’m a decent decision maker."

Will Lorenz says his first training session was "surreal", living out a childhood dream. Image: Matt Sampson.

"(I’d like to base my game on) boys like Rozee, Butters, Horne-Francis, and even before Duursma left, someone like him on the wing, holding width, driving their legs and using their kick."

"I spoke to Ken straight after I got picked so that was pretty cool speaking to an AFL coach. He popped over last night so we had a good chat with him."

"(Training) was good. Good intensity, good weather, beautiful ground, beautiful facilities and a great bunch of boys so really enjoyed it."

"I came (to Adelaide) twice this year for footy but that’s about it so basically airport, to the hotel, to the ground then back to the hotel then back to the airport, so I didn’t really get to experience much. But even driving through this morning was really cool."

"At the moment (the four of us are) all together in an Air BnB but then we’ll stay with a player for about a week and a half and then we've got a training camp up in the Goldy. Then once that's done, we come back to our home towns, then next year will probably be with a host family."

"(The new facilities are) really exciting, even just today, we went in for the first time to see the new locker room and even the ice baths and showers, so it's pretty cool."

Xavier Walsh 

"It’s unreal to get the opportunity to come over here and train with some of the biggest names in the AFL so it's a bit surreal, still trying to wrap my head around it to be honest. It's amazing."

"I'm from WA so I started playing at Mt Lawley Roos and then at school for a bit and then East Perth this year."

"I'm competitive, that's probably my biggest asset, no matter where I am on the ground, I always like to compete and play at that high intensity."


"Charlie's way too scary to have a crack at! Even playing on Esava Ratugolea as well, they're really big boys but it was really good to train with them. They're always helping and giving you advice and stuff so it's really, really good."

"(I’m excited to train alongside) Ollie Wines…Connor Rozee, Zak Butters, Horne-Francis, it's unreal to be able to go onto a footy field and train with them."

"Definitely the first training session, you want to make a good impression and do all that but at the end of the day, it's footy and mistakes are going to be made at any point. (I'll) build confidence over time but it was good today."

"I had a couple of chats with (Ken), he's really good, really smart, real high footy IQ so I'll learn a lot from him."

"Any opportunity I'd be lucky enough to get given I'd take it straight away so wherever it is, I'd be happy. I think I'm a backman at heart but the last couple of years I've played as a key forward and learned a lot through there. Then at the back end of this year starting playing more as a big-bodied mid so that was really good but (I play) mainly down back or down forward, I can play that swing-man kind of role."