IT would be pretty unusual for Port Adelaide to open its doors to a player from a rival club but that’s exactly what happened this week when South Adelaide teenager Jason Horne spent some time at Alberton.
Horne was visiting as part of the NAB AFL Academy program, along with prospective father-son player Jase Burgoyne.
Horne has been a revelation in the opening two rounds of the SANFL already being named as the competition’s Powerade Breakthrough Player of the Week.
With Port Adelaide playing the Panthers this week, the 17-year-old admits it has been a bit strange to be training with players he will line up against on Saturday.
“Dad used to play for Port so I’ve got to support them a bit,” Horne told portadelaidefc.com.au.
“I love the way Port goes about their footy and I think South Adelaide plays a similar way.
“I don’t think (the Port Adelaide coaches and players) have said much around me (about the game plan). It’s a bit weird but I think it’ll be a lot of fun on the weekend.”
Horne’s father Fabian Francis played both SANFL and AFL for Port Adelaide and won the Jack Oatey Medal as best on ground in the club’s 1996 SANFL Premiership winning team.
The teenager is a good chance to follow in his footsteps and admits spending time in an AFL environment has been good for his development.
“Coming into an AFL club is a bit of the unknown,” he explained.
“You don’t know what to expect from an AFL club so coming here and getting an insight into what they do around a footy club is good for me and has helped me a lot.
“It’s been really good coming to a quality club like Port.”
Burgoyne is a known quantity at Port Adelaide, as part of the club’s father-son academy.
The son of premiership player Peter Burgoyne, and brother of Port Adelaide rookie Trent Burgoyne, Jase Burgoyne regularly trains at the club and has enjoyed the experience more than he did in a week at the club in January.
“Training with the boys was good,” Burgoyne said.
“Last time I was here I was doing some rehab on my knee so I couldn’t train properly but… this time the drills I got to join in on were pretty fun.
“Orazio (Fantasia) has been pretty welcoming to me, always checking on me and seeing how I’m going.
“And Willem Drew has been pretty welcoming. Every time I walk past them they’ll have a conversation with me and see how my body is holding up from the injury.”
Having Burgoyne on hand has made it easier for Horne as well.
“I knew a few of the players from watching them play but I met Connor a few weeks ago because we’ve got the same manager,” Horne said, admitting he didn’t know too many of the players at the club.
“We went out to dinner and it was good having him around this week.
“It helps a lot (to have Jase here). Me and Jase went through the under 16s state program and know each other pretty well, plus our dads also know each other pretty well.
“It was good to have him here as a bit of a comfort person for me.”
Both Horne and Burgoyne are eligible to be drafted at the end of 2021. Port Adelaide will have the opportunity to draft Burgoyne as a father-son but has not got first preference on Horne.