PORT ADELAIDE senior assistant coach Michael Voss has singled out exciting young forward Mitch Georgiades as one to watch in Friday night’s intra-club match.
Georgiades was taken with pick 18 in the 2019 AFL National Draft, surprising many because he had missed the entire season with a quad injury.
The 18-year-old has impressed in pre-season training with his running capacity, strong marking and ability to gather his own ground ball.
“He’s been really good,” Voss explained on Adelaide radio on Friday morning.
“He had a little mishap just before Christmas with his AC (joint) but he has not missed a beat.
“He brings something completely different to what we’ve had. His ability to get up the ground, he’s got some good speed, I think you’ll hear everyone talking about just how well he marks the ball.
“Early days, he’s going to be that half forward that can get up and down the ground and mark and link through midfield and hopefully slide in behind defences at the same time.
“This boy is going to be a beast when he starts to get a few years under his belt, that’s for sure.”
Voss said Georgiades would be given time to show if he was capable of playing at the level during the Marsh Community Series games against Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs in coming weeks.
But he said, if the Round 1 team was selected tomorrow, the West Australian “would be in it”.
“But we are still gathering evidence, though,” Voss said.
“We’ve been able to do a pre-season and he’s acquitted himself very well and giving him exposure through the pre-season games, playing against a different type of defence or some bigger bodies, seeing how he matches up with that – that’s a bit of a wait and see.
“But we’ve had enough information to know that this time last year we had two or three players that we were quite excited about as well with Rozee, Duursma and Butters and their level of consistency at training gave us great confidence that they could step in and play AFL football and he’s certainly making the right steps towards that.”
Voss was also quick to back head coach Ken Hinkley after the Power mentor said this week that the club was setting out to win a premiership in 2020, in keeping with the club’s history of success.
“Kenny’s obviously extremely passionate and that’s one thing he’s always been,” Voss said.
“Anything a coach says in pre-season – if he plays it down, he’s criticised for not being bold enough and if you overplay it you’re criticised for being too bullish.
“Where does the middle ground lie?”
Voss said with players now having a better understanding of a new coaching group from 2019, full pre-seasons into a number of players who missed chunks of last year, development of last year’s crop of young players and positive signs from the latest group of draftees, there is plenty to be excited about and Hinkley’s statement was reflective of that.
“The other thing is that from a playing group point of view, hearing a head coach who is willing to put that out there really backs up what they’ve been doing and there’s been that belief within the group slowly build up over a period of time which is nice to see,” Voss said.
“We feel like we’ve had a lot more depth in the way we’ve been able to teach our players and we can see before our eyes the capability grow within the group.
“And we’re just sitting here now thinking we need to test that against some opposition and see just how we can execute.”
The intra-club match gets underway at Alberton Oval from 5:30pm, with gates open at 4:30pm.
Entry is by gold coin donation, and there will be food and beverages available, a bouncy castle for the kids along with plenty of giveaways, competitions and prizes.