Fresh from two losses against Collingwood (at the MCG) and Essendon (at Football Park), the Power entered Round 3 full of resolve.
Up against it was one of the form sides of the last decade in Geelong.
Port was not expected to win many games that year, if any.
It was a team full of youngsters. Yes, they were talented, but many had little experience.
Only a few seasoned campaigners filled its ranks.
The team’s senior coach John Cahill would recall the can-do attitude of the team was key to it winning games that year.
In Cahill’s exclusive reflection on his time as the club’s senior coach to be published on portadelaidefc.com.au on Monday, the master coach’s no-nonsense approach to footy shines through.
“We believed in our system and most importantly we believed in our club. That was the reason why we were successful,” writes Cahill.
“We didn’t make excuses, we just played tough hard football and if we were good enough we won, if we weren’t we didn’t.”
Wanganeen remembers Round 3, 1997
Led by captain Gavin Wanganeen, the Power would go on to win its first game in front of a crowd of 32,074.
Donald Dickie and David Brown were like men possessed on the field, racking up possession tallies of 26 and 30 respectively.
The Power led at every change in an emphatic victory over the established Geelong.
Big full forward Scott Cummings booted five goals while his younger off-sider Bowen Lockwood contributed four of his own.
Check portadelaidefc.com.au for the ninth-placed match in our Footy Park Flashbacks supporter poll on Sunday
PORT ADELAIDE 3.5 8.11 13.17 18.21 (129)
GEELONG 0.2 3.2 7.4 14.6 (90)
Goals: Cummings 5, Lockwood 4, Francou, Poole 2, Brown, P. Burgoyne, Dickie, Francis, Lade
Crowd: 32,074 at Football Park