A finals berth is slipping further and further from Port Adelaide, who sit seventh after a horror last month, recording just one win.
Throughout the season they have triumphed over premiership hopefuls Richmond and Melbourne, while securing unconvincing wins against the likes of Carlton, Brisbane and St Kilda, before eventually succumbing to an unforgivable loss in the west to an undernourished Fremantle.
The topsy-turviness of the Power’s run has divided their fanbase. Some argue that, with 12 wins, their season has been satisfactory. Others suggest the team has not improved for a number of years, even in the face of overall business growth.
While members of both parties are quick to blame coaching and player performances when things don’t go to plan, it seems Power fans are ignoring an issue that is painstakingly obvious, but perhaps not directly in the firing line.
It’s no secret that not every fan of the Power blossomed from the pews of Alberton Oval all those years ago. Those who eagerly awaited the honour of adding that now infamous glimmer of teal to their already black and white guernseys in 1997. Power supporters have since then come from other SANFL clubs, other states, other countries and even over the road, but whether they like it or not, the Power is a continuation of the Magpies.
The attitudes on the field, off the field and in the coaches’ box should be alarming fans who are yet to put their finger on a major problem that has been slowly brewing over the past four years – the Power have stepped away from Port Adelaide.
With one of the most successful histories in the game, the Port Adelaide Football Club cemented an ethos in the football world as a vehement, forceful and ablest community. An outfit to be feared, envied and admired. The construction of all-powerful mantra crafted by Foster ‘Fos’ Williams in 1962, ‘The Creed’ shaped each and every performance, resulting in decades of major success and 18 premierships during that era.
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“We, the players and management of the Port Adelaide Football Club accept the heritage which players and administrators have passed down to us; in so doing we do not intend to rest in idleness.”
With a culture so great and a history so rich, it is hard to understand how the players of today aren’t drawing huge motivation and enticement to continue the legacy of their predecessors. Their undeniable success inspired the careers of the former generation, including the Cornes brothers, Warren Tredrea and Dominic Cassisi, who even during the dark times, bled for the club.
Today, pride in the guernsey and the name is virtually non-existent.
The Port Adelaide Football Club has also reverted from their intensity and dominance against cross town rivals, the Adelaide Crows. While Showdowns of late have been tough and entertaining, the Power once held the Crows 21-17 for wins, which the Crows have now overtaken with a comfortable few years of dominance – even when the Power were an arguably better outfit.
The stigma throughout South Australia is that the Power have much more angst against the Crows than vice versa but modern players lack the fiery ruthlessness and ability to overrule that should be wired into them and that Power fans expect.
Gone are the days when boss Ken Hinkley would promise tough and traditional Port Adelaide-style football. It is horrifying that a club that once sported an honour roll of names like Ebert and Cahill, who gave every last millimetre of themselves to the cause, is now renowned as the whingers of the league.
Perhaps it is an embarrassment, a waste of time and false advertising to preach ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ and sport the number 1870 on the back of the guernsey if nothing about the football club of today reflects the deep values in the roots entwined under Alberton Oval.
The current playing group and management team obviously completely disregard these values, or have been seriously misinformed.
Before another nothing year transpires, the Power need a reality check. A history lesson. A reminder of where they come from and what is expected of them. To take accountability. To find the strength to believe.
They need the motivation to replicate what the Port Adelaide of old could achieve.
Power: look beyond the doors that you walk through each day. Embrace your heritage.
“Strive with all your power to further this club’s unexcelled achievements.”
Find Port Adelaide again.
Read more: theroar.com.au