BOOM off-season recruits Aliir Aliir and Orazio Fantasia will make their debuts in Port Adelaide colours this Sunday against North Melbourne.
The pair, who made their way to Alberton via Sydney and Essendon respectively, had their inclusion in the side to face the Kangaroos confirmed during a team meeting this week, with former club captain and premiership player Dom Cassisi on hand to present their guernseys.
Cassisi delivered a powerful speech to the team about what it means to pull on a Port Adelaide guernsey and represent the club’s community of faithful supporters and servants.
“Every club talks about being a family club. This is a family club. This is a working-class club. Everything in here, everyone has had to fight and scratch for,” Cassisi said before training at Alberton Oval.
“We might not ever be the richest club. But we will always be the club with the biggest heart, with more people than any other club that are willing to come in and sacrifice to make the club better.
“The legacy that you blokes need to leave in that jumper is the responsibility of taking risk, because that’s what this club has always had to do to move forward.”
The 228-game midfielder was also full of praise for Port’s newest recruits, wishing them the best in following the footsteps of those that have gone on to bigger and better things upon arriving at Alberton.
“I’m just rapt that you guys are here as your second club,” Cassisi said.
“This club has got a great history of getting players here as their second club and propelling their careers to have the best time ever.
“We’ve got Monty and Schoey (former premiership teammates and now assistant coaches, Brett Montgomery and Jarrad Schofield) in the room. This was their second club 20 years ago. They came in and won a premiership, had career-best years and had the best time of their lives with their families here.
“Now they’re back here 20 years later trying to embark on their second flag.
“If you’re prepared to work hard for this club, the door is always open and you’ll always have a home here.”
Aliir was selected by Sydney with the 44th pick in the 2013 National Draft, becoming the first South Sudanese player to be selected at the draft.
The 26-year-old played 64 games for the Swans, including 14 in 2020, before finding his way to Alberton in the trade period.
Fantasia, a South Australian native, was drafted by Essendon with the 55th pick in the same draft after playing in Norwood’s SANFL premiership side.
The 25-year-old went on to play 80 games for the Bombers, booting 111 goals, before also making his way to Port via a trade.