Round 9 – Port Adelaide v Gold Coast: Port’s China Syndrome

Port Adelaide V Gold Coast

May 19th, 2018

RD 9

Jiangwan Stadium, Shanghai


Port’s second trip to China over the weekend, lampooned and criticised so heavily by some has ended with success on and off the field for a club started at Bucks Flat in 1870 but now dreaming big on the world stage.


If Liverpool and Manchester United can have a world reach from a game rooted in England, there is no reason to shoot high for Port Adelaide, playing a distinctly Australian game but now on a world stage. Forget the gloom and doom merchants, like Tony Jones and Kevin Bartlett. They rarely acknowledge anything outside of a Victorian border. And let’s not forget the Vics had no interest in Adelaide’s F1 grand prix either until the realisation that the best run, most interesting and popular among teams race on the circuit could actually be a money spinner in the Garden State. (It’s never come close to reaching the staggering heights the Adelaide GP reached in the 80s and early 90s).


If a Victorian team were involved in the China game, like is being mooted now for next year with the Gold Coast likely to pull out interest levels would be different. For Port, the off-field is where the success has been felt the most. Yes, the win on Saturday was a good follow up to a classic Showdown win and keeps Port firmly entrenched in the finals race. But it’s the announcement of further sponsorship money that should please most.


It wasn’t long ago that the AFL and others even closer to Port were telling them in no uncertain terms to find extra, more unique income streams. Isn’t China servicing that need?


Millions, not thousands are being added to Port’s bank balance because of a forthright attitude, some incredible hard work and the appeal of a working-class club made good on the big stage. China is a rich and large business centre that approached properly can create opportunities that Australia cannot. Do we do what Hawthorn does and have a stack of socially crippling pokie machines that wreck lives (while their President talks tough on social issues – not tough enough on pokies that bring big cash though)? And just rely on other peoples’ misery for the club to make more cash? No, that would immoral, and also go against what Port Adelaide is about – community. Let’s face it; the truth is the people in Port Adelaide don’t need further problems like pokie machine addiction to fuel an already difficult existence living on or below the poverty line. Why not avoid that by looking outside of the square? The days of having chook raffles on a Thursday night are long over.


Saturday’s game was no great spectacle, but then 5 out of 9 AFL games weekly aren’t either. Port won, Gold Coast were gallant for a half and the four points were banked. But it was the engagement at the high end of Shanghai that would have been so pleasing.


China is a work in progress, clearly. But regardless who plays Port next year there one thing is for certain. The money the game and the business links are providing will help Port achieve the ultimate goal back in Australia; an AFL premiership.


After all isn’t that the whole point?


GOLD COAST               4.2       5.3       6.6       6.6 (42)
PORT ADELAIDE         5.5       6.10     8.14     11.16 (82)

Gold Coast:
Rosa, Heron, Witts, Weller, Bowes, Miller
Port Adelaide: Powell-Pepper 2, Wingard 2, S.Gray 2, Rockliff, Boak, Dixon, Wines, Watts

Gold Coast Suns: Witts, Harbrow, May, Hall, Miller
Port Adelaide: Boak, Powell-Pepper, Rockliff, Wines, Byrne-Jones

Gold Coast Suns: Jack Martin (illness) replaced by Matt Rosa before the game, Matt Rosa (hamstring)
Port Adelaide: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Leigh Fisher, Jacob Mollison, Nick Foot

Official crowd: 10,689 at Jiangwan Stadium



Twitter – @chrismwriter



  1. Kevin Vincent Martin says

    Wow – a postive article – well said my man!

    May I share it o a port supporters facebook page, please

  2. Hey that hint of blue on the guernsey at the top of the page can’t fool me. That jumber designed has been copyrighted by “the mighty Blacks, AUFC”

  3. I have had no big concerns so far with the China putsch, except these 2. It must never have an impact on playing performance and results. PAFC must never open itself to being taken over, in reality or virtually, by Chinese interests. However, a 3rd is emerging with the jungle drums rattling across in Victoria. The State Government “demand” for a Vic. team to play carries the risk that, if success comes, the big Vic. clubs will start to demand their participation, then take over. Grand Prix all over again. Port Adelaide has done all the hard work and should be allowed to continue, unlike North Melbourne who were pushed out of Friday Night Football after doing all the ground work.

  4. Kevin Vincent Martin says

    Agreed Bucko

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