IN THE ranks of Port Adelaide's forward-line talent, Mitch Georgiades is the new kid on the block.
Connor Rozee and Zak Butters burst onto the scene with brilliant debut seasons in 2019, Todd Marshall was a first-round draft pick in 2016 and Charlie Dixon was a priority selection for Gold Coast before relocating to the Power. Orazio Fantasia's credentials were on show for many years before crossing to Port while Robbie Gray is, well, Robbie Gray.
In his first season-and-a-bit with Port Adelaide, the mobile and exciting Georgiades has brought something different to the Power's mix.
"It's nice to have that little bit of confidence, but we have so many players around us that make it such an easy environment to be a part of," Georgiades told AFL.com.au this week.
"Big Charlie, Todd, all our small forwards as well, which makes it such a good environment in the front half and we're always looking to build on it."
"It's something we worked on really hard during the off-season in working together really well and playing different roles, whether it means myself and Toddy playing a bit higher or we've seen Todd and Charlie play in the ruck throughout the year. We really value getting that connection."
As Gray heads into Saturday night's clash with crosstown foes Adelaide looking to add to his record tally of five Showdown medals, Georgiades is ready for his first taste of the fierce rivalry. He sat out last year's clash with the Crows, albeit a Showdown lite given a tiny smattering of fans were in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. This time, a sellout Adelaide Oval is expected.
"I've never experienced the Showdown, so it will be so exciting to be there and to play is something I can't wait to do. I haven't been in the system a whole long time, but I can tell from the way we communicate that it is something special for us to be a part of that game and the rivalry is still there. I can't wait to be a part of it," the 19-year-old said.
"To have that full capacity [crowd] will be something really exciting as well."
After playing seven games last season in his debut year with Port Adelaide, Georgiades missed the opening round of this season but has played every game since.
He has kicked 12 goals in that time – second only to Fantasia with 14 – including four games of multiple goals. Last week's defeat to Brisbane, when Port managed just five goals for the game, was the only time Georgiades hasn't hit the scoreboard this season.
He said missing round one gave him time to sharpen areas in his game to be ready to perform as soon as he got his chance, which came in round two with a standout four-goal performance against Essendon.
"It's been good. Obviously coming into the year there was some stuff I needed to work on and that's where I missed the first round. I got my opportunity in the second round and just tried to make the most of it and stay in the team and do my role and see how it goes," he said.
"Just the ability to finish my work. Something I've worked on a lot over the pre-season is my set shot and it's something I'm really proud of and want to keep progressing as well, so being able to finish. And then being able to be a part of that 18-man defence is something we made a real emphasis on over the off-season."
Georgiades shapes as a strong contender for this year's NAB AFL Rising Star award, having been nominated for the honour last year and again in round five this season. He is one of only 13 players in history to be dual nominees, although not the only current Power forward in the rare group.
"It was nice to have a bit of recognition. Orazio reminds me he's part of it as well, so it's good to have," Georgiades said.