AFL Club Awards: The bald and the beautiful

Port Adelaide’s Best and Fairest

By Steve Healy

In season 2009, Port Adelaide’s theme song should’ve changed to:

We’ve got the power to win, the power to lose, the power to win, the power to lose

Because that’s what they showed us, they have a huge win one week, and then get smashed by a lowly opposition the next. Their first two rounds for the season set the scene. A 41-point win over Essendon at home, and then a 50-point loss to West Coast away. When you play like that you’re never going to make the eight. Ninth is what the silver, teal and black and white finished. They simply stuffed it up.

Here’s my look at their top 10 players for season 2009:

1.      Warren Tredrea

Quite surprising really, you wouldn’t expect a bald dinosaur to win the best and fairest. But in 2009, Tredrea took a more humane approach to playing footy, and it paid off. After being held goalless in his first two games, Tredrea went bang and kicked 6.1 against the Dees at AAMI, followed by another 6.0 in their surprising win against Hawthorn the week after. He kicked 7.4 four weeks later, his best score in a game since Round 7, 1998 when he kicked 8.4 as a 19-year old. For the season, he kicked 51.27 in 21 games, as well as averaging 13.3 possessions, 6.8 marks, 1.3 contested marks, 3.2 marks inside 50 and 0.9 goal assists. It was definitely his best year since 2005, that’s for sure.

2.  Kane Cornes

At 26 years of age, Kane Cornes put in an equally good effort as his previous four seasons. He averaged 27.1 possessions, 6.3 contested possessions, 4.8 marks and 3.5 tackles. He is so consistent that you barely take notice of how many times he gets the ball. Arguably his best game was in a 93-point loss against the Dogs, where he picked up 36 possessions, 12 marks and three tackles.

3. Troy Chaplin

This guy was a surprise package in 2009, making his name as a running/ key defender. He played 20 games, averaging 18 touches, six marks, 2.1 tackles, 5.6 one percenter’s (club high) and he hit the target with 83.3% of disposals. His best game came in Round 22 against North where he picked up 28 possessions, took eight marks and laid four tackles. At 23 years of age he has plenty of good footy to come in Port Adelaide’s defence.

4 (Equal). Robbie Gray

Just like Chaplin, Gray was another surprise package for the Power. After playing 15 games in his first two seasons, he played a vital role in this team as a small forward/ occasional midfielder. He kicked 30.19 (second for the club), averaged 16.2 possessions, 3.9 marks, 3.1 tackles, 2.4 inside 50’s, 2.2 marks inside 50, 7.1 contested possessions (club high) and 1.1 goal assists (club high). Just needs to be more efficient with ball use; he only hit the target 66.9% of the time. Most of his possessions are handballs, which is strange for a forward. Big part of his club’s future.

4 (Equal). Jacob Surjan

Surjan never seems to be recognised for his good work and as his name suggests, he continues to be masked up. The small defender averaged 15.2 possessions, 3.6 marks, 2.5 tackles and he hit the target 79.3% of the time. His best game came in Round 11 against Fremantle, where he gathered 25 possessions, seven marks and seven tackles. Still has a long way to go.

6. Travis Boak

This exciting young midfielder had an excellent season. Although he missed four games with injury, he averaged 23.7 possessions, 4.5 marks, 4.1 tackles, 6.4 contested possessions and 3.6 inside 50’s. He played many good games, including against North in Round 7 where he picked up 27 possessions, 10 tackles and two goals, and in Round 18 against Hawthorn, where he picked up 35 possessions, eight marks and a goal. I think this guy could be one of the elite in a few years.

7. Domenic Cassisi

Very harsh, that this guy finished as low as seventh. He should’ve been at least second, because he averaged 22.4 possessions (second for the club), a huge 7.7 tackles (easily first), 3.1 marks, 8.4 contested possessions (first) and two inside 50’s. His tackling is incredible, he laid at least nine tackles nine times, with a best of 15 in Round 16 against West Coast. He picked up 36 possessions in Round 15 against Melbourne. Why didn’t he finish higher? Why would a club be so harsh to their first-year captain?

8 (Equal). Alipate Carlile

You gotta love his name, and the way he goes about his footy. The key defender lifted his game even higher. He averaged 13 possessions, five marks, 5.2 once percenter’s and he hit the target an extremely accurate 88% of the time. Another key part of Port’s future.

8 (Equal). Danyle Pearce

I remember hearing someone on TV say that Pearce had a disappointing season. I disagree. The 2006 Rising star played all 22 games, averaged 20.5 possessions, 3.6 marks, 2.5 tackles, a club-high 4.7 inside 50’s, 1.8 running bounces and five contested possessions. He was a handy goal kicker for the year, kicking 13.16. His best game came in Round 4 against Hawthorn where he racked up 33 possessions, took 11 marks and kicked a goal.

10. David Rodan

The former Tiger, now 26 years old, had another good year. Despite kicking only 13 goals (he kicked a combined total of 50 in the previous two years) he provided plenty of run, which was shown when he kicked that goal on the run against the Dogs in Darwin. Rodan averaged 19.1 possessions, 3.3 tackles, 2.2 marks, 2.7 inside 50’s and 4.3 running bounces (double anyone else at the club). Can the Fijian keep firing?

Well, what lies ahead for the Power? You’d think they’d fall, with the Burgoyne Brothers and Brendon Lade gone, but there’s that US Basketballer Daniel Bass joining the crew, who will hopefully be rucking alongside fellow ex-pat Basketballer Dean Brogan next year…

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. Damian Watson says

    Nice work Steve,
    Definitely the most inconsistent side in the competition.
    Travis Boak certainly looks like a promising youngster and a handy disposal winner.

    Pearce wasn’t exactly disappointing but I don’t think he lived up to his potential this season.
    He played very well in the early part of the season while the Power were in relatively good form, but tapered off late in the season.

  2. Michael Allan says

    For a Top 10 it doesn’t look that great.

    Guys like Rodam and Surjan aren’t going to win you games.

    It’s a bit of a shame for me. Beleive it or not Port Adelaide used to be my second team. So much so that I had a Port flag and a Gavin Wanganeen figurine.

    After the 2004 Grqand Final mum stuck the Port flag in the windscreen wiper so Port came up and celebrated the win with us lol.

    They’re biggest up for the season wasm Hamish Hartlett. He’ll be a star.

  3. Michael Allan says

    Oh yeah and the only reason I could think of that Cassisi was only seventh would bne because Mark Williams gets to vote.

  4. Who’s gonna be the next skipper? Boak or Hartlett?

  5. Michael Allan says

    Most likely Boak. Most clubs go for the player with more expereience.

  6. And are any of you guys going to Daff’s house for this snag sizzle?

  7. I can sort of see Boak and Hartlett turning out like Sam Mitchell and Luke Hodge. The gun will be the skipper but the inspirational leader would be the tough bloke (Boak) so i’d say Hartlett will be captain

  8. Michael Allan says

    I just read that then. I’m not sure.

    I’d go if any of you guys are going.

  9. Im gonna see if i can go, but probably wont but Mum wants me to go. I want to because i cant wait another 19 days for this book launch

  10. Michael Allan says

    I think Hodge is a better player than Mitchell.

    I’d say the documents “found in the gutter” had something to do with the decision to not make Hodge captain.

  11. Please explain Michael, what documents??

  12. Michael Allan says

    Geez Josh.

    Remember back in 2007? Channel 7 held that exclusive report on the 2 Hawthorn players who took ecstacy. It was alleged that 7 other Hawthorn players were involved. The woman who handed the files into Channel 7 said she “found them in the gutter.”

    Hodge was one of the names that is always thrown up as one of the players involved.

    Since the captaincy was decided a month or two later I find it hard to belevie it wasn’t a factor.

  13. Ohh that. I remember the documents but never found out what it was all about. Hodge taking drugs? No way

  14. Michael Allan says

    He was one of seven not the one actually taking ecstacy.

    The reasoning behind Hawthorn’s captaincy is just my opinion though. Pewrsonally I feel Hodge is a better leader.

    Mitchell raises his elbow in the contest far too often for my liking.

    I guess Hodge used to give away alot of 50m penalties earlier in his career but he’s put that behind him now.

  15. Well i’d have to say Mitchell is the better player, Hodge is the most influential

  16. Damian Watson says

    Yeah Hodge is a corageous leader.
    I thought Hawthorn gave Mitchell the captaincy because his mentality on the field reminded everyone of the late Peter Crimmins who was a club great and former captain.

    Yeah I remember that drug story, apparently the journalist who reported that story was fired after that drama.

  17. Steve Healy says

    Mitchell is more disiplined. Hodge can be aggrovated.

    I dunno if I’ll go to the sizzle. I’d have to get home from school straight away and then leave. And I might be starting basketball this friday.

    I’ll consider it if all of you are going though

  18. Hmm disagree with the you Steve. Mitchell can get agro as seen in the 08 Grand Final while Hodge shows plenty of discipline

  19. Steve Healy says

    Well they can both get aggrovated sometimes actually. But Mitchell is usually the one who steps up hence why he was chosen as the captain.

  20. Yeah but i see both getting agro, but i dont see Hodge clocking someone in the head yet i can see Mitchell doing that

  21. Michael Allan says

    Mitchell is definately more agro. It used to be Hodge but he has certainly turned it around. I love it in the 2008 Grand FInbal when Brown was about to yell at the umpire and give away a 50 but then Hodge grabbed him and told him to shut up.

    Sam Mitche3ll has a much worse record at the tribunral than Hodge.

  22. Ah, Michael! Possibly one of the most common spelling errors. It’s “definitely”. Next time you type it, think of the word “finite” and you’ll never forget again. Gigs (aka The Spellchecker)

  23. Have a check at all of Michael’s comments, you’ll see more mistakes lol. He defintely cant spall.

    Matt Maguire has been invited to Carlton for training, and they seem unlikely to pick up Russell Robertson, which means he is at the Roos! Speaking of, Brad Scott has said we can definitely make the finals in 2010

  24. Michael Allan says

    Yes Gigs, I do have trouble with that one.

    Josh if you read my articles I think you’ll find grammar mistakes are rare.

    I don’t proof read my comments and I have a bad habit of hitting two keys at the same time. So when I say Football. I type Footrbakll.

  25. Steve Healy says

    Is that right Gigs?

    I always mispell it as definitley, not defanitely.

    Grammar in articles is all that counts Michael

  26. I didnt say articles i said comments lol

  27. Steve Healy says

    Michael said articles.

    I’m trying to work on Sydney’s best and fairest but it’s hard cos my internets slow again- making it hard to post comments on this site as well

  28. Does this mean u won’t be on bookface?

  29. Steve Healy says

    nah ill go on now actually if you’re still there

  30. I’ll continue on this thread,

    Hahaha today during English, Jeff and I asked the people on our table if they call their nightly meal tea or dinner. They all said tea, and we asked the teacher and she said she didn’t want to answer because it was one of the hardest debates in our time. She said tea eventually though, then we both looked up the dictionary definitions for them both. Tea was to have your nightly meal or your main meal. Dinner was your mid-day meal. Country wins this debate. End of discussion!

  31. Steve Healy says

    Yeah Josh, why not look it up in an official dictionary instead now.

    I need to go to Waaia and convince all these people to obey the dinner

  32. What a good english that was Josh.
    Miss wasn’t very keen on answering but we got it out of her 8)

  33. It was an Oxford’s Dictionary Steve, can’t get any more official than that. Just face it, you and your city-slicker mates have lost this battle.

  34. Dinner: “the main meal of the day, eaten in the evening or at midday”.
    Tea: “the dried and prepared leaves of a shrub, Camellia sinensis, from which a somewhat bitter, aromatic beverage is prepared by infusion in hot water.”

  35. Steve Healy says

    34- we win Josh

  36. Hmm, alright using City Dictionaries is not fair.

  37. We still win, city dictionaries don’t count.

  38. Steve Healy says

    Ask the other 15 people in your area, one of them is bound to say dinner

  39. Neither me or Steve are city people. Steve lives in Ashburton and I live in Eltham, which are both suburbs.

  40. Everyone in our class called it Tea and some of them come from the city.

  41. Steve Healy says

    yeah but they’re still suburbs of Melbourne Adam, its the city to some extent. We are two of the 4 million people who live in the city, you cant just say that only people in the CBD are city people

  42. What a surprise, another run out from Ricky Ponting.

  43. I’d say the CBD/inner suburbs would count as city, but middle/outer suburbs no. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever been referred to as a city person.

  44. Damian Watson says

    I think if you live in an outer suburb like Eltham, Warrandyte, Melton in the Dandenongs etc. you would probably be classified as a person living in the country but I think Steve Danni and I are probably as Josh defines it ‘city slickers’.

    Ask people in Australia and the USA and Dinner wins hands down, unless you live in South Australia lol.

  45. Steve Healy says

    True Adam, you’d definitely be less of a city person than I am. Danni is closest to the city out of all of us

  46. Well like it or not Adam, compared to Jeff and I your a city kid. Ok, both of you should run a poll in some of your classes tomorrow, and we’ll do the same.

  47. Josh we should ask the principal if we could do a survey 8)

  48. Yes great idea. Tozer would love that.

    Hmm, i always thought South Australians were the smartest people in Australia, apart from country Victorian people..

  49. Damian Watson says

    smartest people in Australia?

    hahahhahahahahahahaha, that’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard.

    Where did you get that statistic?

  50. He surveyed 10 random people from each state. However, all the South Australians happened to be university professors. Even then, they were only marginally ahead of the other states.

  51. Damian Watson says

    It’s a shame that Gumbleton won’t be playing this weekend, let’s hope the back injury is minor because fortune certainly hasn’t favoured him in the past.

    Anyway I’m off to training.

  52. Lol no i would say New South Wales people would be the least smartest in Australia.

    Just saw the new jumpers Carlton will wear with the Mars logo on the front. I don’t like it.

  53. Steve Healy says

    yeah people from NSW are dickheads, but only Sydney and the suburbs of sydney, some of the NSW we went through in the holidays is amazing. Gundagai especially

  54. And they prefer Rugby to AFL

  55. Steve Healy says

    a few don’t lol

  56. “Surjan never seems to be recognised for his good work and as his name suggests, he continues to be masked up” Good one Steve :)

  57. Steve Healy says

    Thanks Adam. Even though most of my compliments for this piece came 3 months ago, thank you very much

  58. Steve Healy says

    I don’t actually remember typing that line lol, just realised how funny it is

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