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Bonner starting to find his feet

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Riley Bonner of the Power celebrates a goal during the 2019 AFL round 23 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Fremantle Dockers at the Adelaide Oval on August 25, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos)

PORT ADELAIDE youngster Riley Bonner says he is starting to feel more at home at AFL level after playing 38 games in the past two seasons.

Bonner - who was selected at pick 37 in the 2015 draft - says Port Adelaide’s leaders are helping him to grasp what it takes to become a league footballer.

“I’m starting to find my feet at that level,” Bonner told SEN SA’s Kymbo & the Rooch on Wednesday evening.

“I’m still trying to improve myself as a player and a person, on and off the field. I’ve still got a long way to go to be where I see myself as a player and the standards that I set.

“I’m starting to get a grasp of what AFL is like week in and week out, and I’m still trying to learn from our leaders.

“I’m taking every game as it comes because obviously footy doesn’t last forever. I’m really trying to grasp it with both hands, and have a big year this year.”

The 22-year-old has started his career at Alberton on the half-back flank, but he says he is happy with a move up the field if that’s what senior coach Ken Hinkley needs.

“I played a lot of junior footy on a wing,” Bonner said.

“But I’m loving my time off half-back. If Kenny (Hinkley) wants me to play on a wing or off half-back - I’ll do anything for the team.

“I’ll try to hold my spot, so if that’s half-back or the wing then I’m happy with either.”

Bonner was one of a handful of players to return to pre-season training this week, and the smooth-moving left-footer has been really impressed with the standard.

“Young Jake Patmore is coming off an ACL injury and has been running for a few months now,” he said.

“He’s in very good nick. He has put on some weight. He’s currently setting the standards for us younger blokes.

“We’ve had a few running sessions to get the legs and the hearts going, which we have enjoyed.

“Jakey Patmore and Pep (Sam Powell-Pepper) will be leading the charge again on Friday.”

The rest of Port Adelaide’s squad will return to pre-season training on Monday 18 November.