Why Port Adelaide's Young Guns Are Strapping The Club on Their Backs

Port Adelaide have won the last seven matches in a row, does the newly inclusion of Jason Horne-Francis benefit the club's position

Jason Horne Francis playing his first game for Port Adelaide on 18 March 2023 against the Brisbane Lions. Image: Getty Images

Last Friday night, Port Adelaide defeated Melbourne in an epic four point thriller at Adelaide Oval. The Power's seventh win in a row has left a statement to the rest of the competition and the side the rest of the AFL has to play against.

After finishing second on the ladder in 2022 the Power were almost certain for a top four finish let alone a premiership. To everyone's surprise the following season Port Adelaide would go on massively sliding down the ladder to finish 11th.

This season was crucial for the Power to bounce back but even more worrying after player departures and injuries had the better of them. It would be this match that show how amazing the Power's youth is, dominating against recent premiers Melbourne.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has moved his younger players to play more time in the midfield. Connor Rozee (16) and Zak Butters (15) attended the most centre bounces for the Power over both Ollie Wines (13) and Travis Boak (0) despite being injured.

New recruit Jason Horne-Francis too attended 12 centre bounces on Friday night and is averaging 5.7 clearances a year, improving from his 3.5 last season.

The teenager's efforts have gone incredibly unnoticed as he is averaging the most clearances per game for the power and is a factor to their winning performance.

His departure from North Melbourne has shadowed his incredible ability to play football. Joining Port Adeliade a club playing a higher brand of football he has dominated, slotting right into their midfield.

Horne Francis too has recorded more clearances on average than his former vice captain Jy Simpkin (5), along with some other gun players Josh Dunkley (5.6), Sam Walsh (4.2), Zach Merrett (4.4).

Away from Horne-Francis both Butters and Rozee are in All Australian form ever since permanently adjusting to the midfield. Rozee is up in average disposals of 24.9 (1.7 more than last season), along with Butters averaging 26.9 disposals (4.7 more than last season).

Horne-Francis, Butters, and Rozee are all young players of the club who no doubt can lead Port Adelaide to their next premiership within the next few years. The stats show what rumours do not, the fact that these young guns are have made a difference to Port Adelaide's side.