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Woodcock growing into his own

Boyd Woodcock has kicked 17 goals from 14 games in the SANFL this season.

12 MONTHS ago, Boyd Woodcock was a high school student who was the envy of his classmates after being given an opportunity to make his SANFL debut with North Adelaide.

A whirlwind year later and he has clocked up 23 games in the SANFL including last year’s Premiership with the Roosters, all while becoming one of the most dangerous small forwards going around.

The 19-year-old was taken by Port Adelaide with pick 76 at last year’s national draft after impressing with the Roosters with 16 goals in nine games as they went on to win the flag.

His 2019 numbers are equally good with an average of 18 disposals per game and a total of 17 goals so far this season.

Woodcock has been dropping deeper to win the footy in recent weeks, laying on average three tackles per game to go with three inside 50s.

It’s seen the small forward named as an AFL emergency for the first time this week.

“He is (close). He’s been playing some incredible footy,” Power senior coach Ken Hinkley said when asked about the teenager on Friday.

“Boyd was a late pick in the draft and he’s kicked (17) goals in the SANFL.

“He’s played well every week. He plays a role as a small forward who can put a fair bit of pressure on the opposition and still hit the scoreboard so good on him.

“You never know how far away you are sometimes; all you can do is be consistent and he’s done that really well.”

With Magpies leading goalkickers Billy Frampton (23 goals in 8 games) and Tobin Cox (20 goals in 11 games) sidelined by suspension and injury respectively, much of the scoring burden has fallen to Woodcock.

But with six goals in his last two games including 4.2 against the then ladder-leading Adelaide Crows a fortnight ago, it’s a challenge he has accepted.

Small by football standards at just 174 centimetres and 70 kilograms, he will again be an important figure when the Magpies take on South Adelaide at Noarlunga on Sunday afternoon.

And if he keeps performing, Hinkley admits he’ll have another selection dilemma at AFL level.

 “We’ve got a lot of younger boys who are all learning their game so you’re sort of hoping they’ll be able to do something on any given week rather than being really sure about their performance at this stage,” Hinkley explained.

“Boyd’s one of those boys at SANFL level who has consistently done a good job.”

Port Adelaide travels to Noarlunga to take on the Panthers on Sunday, with the first bounce at 2:10pm.