PORT ADELAIDE entered 2020 with the vision of celebrating the club’s rich 150-year history as the centrepiece of all planning.
At the forefront of these celebrations was the Magpies – the club’s SANFL entity that forged Port Adelaide’s reputation for success and evolved into its presence in the AFL.
However, the COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted plans across the globe and football in South Australia was no exception in the grand scheme of things.
A week prior to the AFL season being postponed, it was announced that all State competitions would be suspended until at least May 31, the SANFL included.
Since then, uncertainty has surrounded the future of the South Australian competition and the viability of its clubs moving forward.
In turn, it has left the future unclear whether Port Adelaide will be able to continue the tradition of the Magpies in the SANFL competition.
“I would hate to even contemplate the idea that it wasn’t possible,” Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas said on Adelaide radio on Monday morning.
“But the reality is we have to see where this lands. I don’t know how the SANFL is planning to move through it.
“We haven’t had those conversations. It is just too early in the conversation to fully understand what is going to happen with football in general.”
Port’s chief executive said his club would not waiver in its dedication to having a presence in the State competition, but admitted there was more to play out.
“We remain really committed to playing in the SANFL and maintaining the Magpies as part of that competition,” Thomas said.
“But there are a lot of structural conversations in the next few months that we are going to have to be a part of and we will have to wait and see.”
Thomas remained positive about the club’s ability to celebrate its 150th year despite the current trying circumstances, applauding the moments the club had enjoyed before the outbreak.
“My view is that we were really fortunate that we were able to get away two or three really significant moments,” he said.
“The logo (launch) was terrific, the Gala was fantastic and then we had a great documentary that we built.”
Thomas also declared that while the future of the Magpies and the SANFL was unclear, his club remained determined to help Port’s supporters celebrate and enjoy the club’s history.
“The work that went into the 150th created an enormous reservoir of fantastic information from our history that we are going to roll out during this bleak period for our members,” he said.
“We are going to enjoy all of that.
“We will mark our 150th for what it was – it was a year like no other.
“And at the end of it we will have survived and we will be very proud of that.