PORT ADELAIDE assistant coach Brett Montgomery says the club will not be putting a ceiling on the potential of Connor Rozee.
Rozee was the runner-up in last year’s NAB Rising Star award - to Carlton’s Sam Walsh - and also won Port’s goalkicking in his first season with the club, bagging 29 majors.
Montgomery says the sky is the limit for the silky right-footer.
“It would be very dangerous to put a ceiling on him,” Montgomery said a press conference at the conclusion of the club’s first opening training session of the year.
“What I do know about him is, he is a kid who worked out professional football very quickly. He understands what it takes to go to the next level.
“He understands what it takes to compete at the best. He understands what it takes to move from a half forward to a midfielder.
“They are pretty rare those kids who work it out as quickly as that. And he’s a pretty special kid.”
It was a very competitive training session in front of hundreds of loyal Port Adelaide members and supporters on Wednesday morning, and the defensive coach said the group is eager to hit the season running.
“The boys are just ready to sink their teeth into it,” Montgomery said.
“I’m glad it looked brutal because it was supposed to be our more competitive day.
“Today was a day we introduced stoppage in bigger numbers, which gives them an opportunity to be more combative.
“They have trained pretty much like that for a good two weeks before Christmas and every day since.”
Montgomery - a member of the 2004 Port Adelaide premiership team - said this group is driven by the want to succeed, especially the senior leaders like Robbie Gray and Justin Westhoff, who each set career best times in the club’s time trial.
“What pushes these guys is they are looking for success,” he said.
“They don’t turn up looking to get themselves looking better, feeling better from a selfish point of view.
“People like Robbie (Gray), they are such competitive beasts. He wants success. He wants to be here when that success comes around, whether that’s this year, next year or the year after.
“He will do anything in his power to make sure he is here and firing.”
The 2000 John Cahill Medallist also had a lot of praise for the way Charlie Dixon has trained this pre-season and is looking forward to his contested game returning strongly in 2020.
“He’s training well. Looking healthy. Feeling good. Up and about,” Montgomery said.
“Those type of things are not only great for a leader of you club, but a big personality within the four walls.
“We got nothing out of him this time last year - he was really up against it.
“We need that competitive beast in the forward line. We don’t put a number on it, and we certainly don’t put expectation around leading goalkicker or being the only target.
“He’s one of an outfit down there. But we do need a competitive beast.”