Young gun and former number 1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis is approaching his second season at Alberton. Image: AFL Photos.

PORT ADELAIDE midfielder Jason Horne-Francis has spoken of the benefit of having a full pre-season and the impact veteran Travis Boak has had on his preparation for 2024. 

Horne-Francis had significant surgery on the back of his knees at the end of 2022 soon after completing a trade to Alberton from North Melbourne. 

The surgery meant he missed most of last pre-season. 

While he showed glimpses of his explosive best during his first campaign in the Power colours, Horne-Francis has worked hard on his running capacity in the off-season including during a training camp in the United States with Boak, and feels he is ready to run out games in the Port Adelaide midfield. 


Speaking during the club’s community camp on the Fleurieu Peninsula on Tuesday, the 20-year-old also discussed how he coped with being booed by opposition supporters, the training trip with Boak and the players connecting with more than 4000 kids at more than 20 schools on Tuesday. 

Jason Horne-Francis on Port Adelaide’s AFL Community Camp on the Fleurieu Peninsula this week:

“It's awesome. I think it's our first time down in Fleurieu Peninsula. I grew up down this way so it's great to get down here and to spend time with the kids and, you know, be out here and I know they're, I think they're really happy to have us down here. So, we can't be happier to be down here spending time with them. I don't know if any (football players) came down to Christies (Beach when I was younger). I can't recall anything coming down there. So it's been good so far.” 

Jason Horne-Francis on how he navigated his first year at Port Adelaide: 

“I got really well looked after last year by the Port Adelaide staff which was amazing just for me to focus. So that really helped me throughout the year.

I went through a lot in my first year… so I feel like I'm really well prepared for what's to come in the future. I can't be more grateful for what I went through, which is probably silly. But, it was good to get that exposure.”

Jason Horne-Francis on what he learnt about himself and how he dealt with rival supporters booing him in 2023: 

“I learned a lot. I learned that footy is 80 per-cent in your head and 20 per-cent on the field. Dad's always told me that when I was from when I was a young young kid, so it was very good learning about that. It was definitely hard early. I guess knowing why (people were booing) but from other supporter bases, not knowing why, I guess that's a part of footy. And that's what comes with it. So you know, we love the fans of our game and footy wouldn't be what it is today. So yeah, it was it was tough early, but you get used to it.”

Jason Horne-Francis on what got him through the booing and attention he received:

“It was so many people at the club that helped, me supported me. Kenny was probably the biggest one. I know he come out in a press conference setup, but just the one on one chats that we had throughout the year. It was basically like a dad to me, I think a lot of boys have said that. That's what he's like, he's father figure so he was awesome for me throughout the year. Josh Carr was another one that I worked really closely with and supported me through everything, my family as well.” 

Jason Horne-Francis on getting a full pre-season under his belt after last year’s interruptions due to leg surgery:

“It’s been awesome. I probably wouldn't be able to get through the sessions that we had this year. It's been a big year. So yeah, it was it's good to get the pre-season on my belt. I haven't had one in a year so it was a bit foreign to me. But yeah, it's great to get under my belt when the boys are training really well at the moment and we're really fit. 

“If we can play good footy collectively as a team, that would be the main goal. You know, I'm just trying to get myself around the body right and also help my teammates out as well. I’m playing some good football so that's the most important part.”

Jason Horne-Francis on improving his running capacity over the off-season:

“Last year, I was definitely struggling to run out some games. I think this pre-season I feel I've shown myself already that I can run games out in the midfield.”

Jason Horne-Francis on going away on a training camp with Travis Boak in the off-season:

“I spent two weeks, two and a half weeks in America, we traveled and a lot of it was training. We also got some downtime as well, which was great. It was great for me to experience at such a young age going over there and experiencing the things we did and the training we did. I think I'll go next year again, even if it's not with Travis. 

“We did a we did a whole week of training in Denver, which was awesome. We had a personal trainer there who was great and taught me a lot about my body and Trav told me a lot about the off field stuff and how he prepares so I've just tried to take things from what he does into how I prepare.”