TOM ROCKLIFF will play for Port Adelaide in 2018.

The former Lion's path to Alberton was cleared just after 4pm on Wednesday after Brisbane declined to match the offer put forward to the restricted free agent.

Playing 154 games over nine seasons with the Lions, Rockliff will reacquaint himself with old coach Michael Voss in the Power's midfield group next season.

The 27-year-old was originally taken by Brisbane with pick 5 in the 2009 pre-season draft, and has established himself as a strong inside midfielder who can play forward.

“I met with Ken Hinkley, Travis Boak and some other key people at Port Adelaide after the season and was really impressed,” Rockliff told

“I think the club can be great for me as a footballer and I think I have a lot to offer the club too.

“Port Adelaide is coming off a strong season and everyone is optimistic about what we can achieve in 2018.”

It's his ball-winning ability that captured the imagination of Port's football department, and list manager Jason Cripps expects him to work well within the Power's established engine room.

Last week, Cripps indicated Rockliff's inclusion would provide flexibility to Port's coaching group in the use of the club's other inside midfielders.

“He’s an elite ball-winner, a good decision maker and is versatile with his ability to impact in the midfield and up forward,” Cripps said.

“Tom is a recognised and experienced leader who will provide invaluable direction on-field, [he] had several options and we’re pleased he chose us.

“We’re confident Tom and the club will work together and in time prove this was the right decision.”

Rockliff is the first arrival at Port Adelaide this off-season, following the earlier confirmed departures of Jackson Trengove [Western Bulldogs] and Nathan Krakouer [retirement].

The arrival of Rockliff as a restricted free agent also results in the loss of Port Adelaide's compensation pick received for losing Jackson Trengove as a restricted free agent to the Bulldogs.