Brandon Zerk-Thatcher enters his fifth week at Alberton. Image: Michael Sullivan.

PORT ADELAIDE defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher is beginning his fifth week of pre-season at his new club, describing the move as a “seamless transition”. 

An Adelaide boy, Zerk-Thatcher was picked up by Essendon in the 2018 Draft, and spent five seasons at the Bombers before landing at Alberton in a trade. 

The 25-year-old spoke to the Adelaide media on Monday about pre-season at his new club, being back home in SA and how he’s fitting in with the new-look backline. 

Zerk-Thatcher on the move to Port Adelaide 
“It's really good. It's been a seamless transition really, everyone's been pretty welcoming and it's just really easy having family and friends around, so it's been really good. 

“For me, (family is) very important. I've seen my mum more times than I have in three years and it's only been three or four weeks, so it's been fantastic for me and I'm enjoying every bit of it.” 


Zerk-Thatcher on pre-season so far 
“Camp was pretty tough, the stuff we did and the heat. It's been a very warm pre-season so far so just a bit of a mental grind as well as a physical battle out there. I love the footy part, it's more my thing, but I love the challenge (of running and fitness). Whatever we do I'm looking to put my best foot forward and improve in the areas we need and I'm just looking forward to playing some games.” 

Zerk-Thatcher on fitting in with the backline  
“Just really getting the emphasis on defence at the moment in the group and to work alongside Aliir and Esava is really good for me. I just want to build a really strong connection back there with them. Hopefully we can become a really good defensive unit behind the ball. Takes definitely a pre-season (to build that connection), we're still getting used to each other. Everyone's got their individual strengths so it's just getting the hang of it as quick as possible and implementing it in training.”

Zerk-Thatcher pictured gut running on Port Adelaide's pre-season camp in the Gold Coast. Image: Isabel Gawel.

Zerk-Thatcher on working with Aliir Aliir 
“(I’m) always talking to him out on the track, where he wants me, what sort of position he plays, going through edits, there's just heaps of ways you can pick someone's brain like that and (I’m) just continuing to do that.” 

Zerk-Thatcher on the young core of the club 
“I think everyone's around a similar age at the moment here, there's a good young core. Just that commitment from everyone is going to drive us forward. 

“I played state with Connor (Rozee) quite a while ago and I thought he was really good back then. Obviously, the progress those boys have had over the last few years, it's pretty incredible to see them out on the track doing their thing.” 

Zerk-Thatcher on the differences between Essendon and Port 
“The people, everyone's different. Just the structures, the game plan, all different so it's just getting my head around that. Kenny (Ken Hinkley) is awesome, he's a great person, switched on when he needs to be and also that person you can go to and talk to.” 

Zerk-Thatcher on South Australian football fandom  
“It's good, we had (open training) here the other day and it was good to see so many Port supporters coming down, and families. There's similar traits at each club but you can definitely tell over here in South Australia you're either on one side or the other, Crows or Port.”