Patrick Ryder was the big addition over the off season, and although he will certainly make the biggest impact of the new recruits, the Power have a hidden gem locked away who could really help them push for a flag.
Karl Amon is that man. The former Sandringham Dragons midfielder somehow slipped to pick 68 in the 2013 draft, but he had the talent level to match many of the first rounders in his draft class.
Amon plays a similar brand of football to Jared Polec. The footballing world saw just how important the addition of Polec’s leg speed and kicking was to the Power last year. The line breaking, exciting game plan is something coach Ken Hinkley prides himself on, and he’s ensured that he’s drafted accordingly.
A strong-bodied midfielder who can play on the wing, through the centre or off either half back or half forward, Amon offers flexibility. He’d fit in most teams’ best 22, but he’ll need a stroke of luck to get in at the Power.
In his draft year, Amon had a knack of dominating when it counted. Most of his best work came when there were plenty of recruiters watching. His big game stats averages were 20 disposals, just under five marks, a goal per game and three tackles.
But he struggled with consistency, which pushed him down the order. Amon averaged just under 15 disposals, 3.3 marks, three tackles and 0.4 goals per game.
But 2015 should be his year. Amon managed 14 goals in 20 games with the Port Adelaide Magpies. 10 of those goals came in his last eight games, including four against North Adelaide.
The young Port midfielder has an incredible ability to read the play and make things happen. He’ll be a highlight reel player in years to come, as his dashes down the wing for long bomb goals become the hallmark of his game.
Right now, Amon has Aaron Young, Kane Mitchell, Jared Polec and Matthew White ahead of him in the pecking order. It’s not unrealistic to think that if one or two of those guys have down years, Amon could pounce and play between five to 10 AFL games.
He may not be as crucial as Ryder to winning at the moment, but in terms of game plan, Amon’s elite endurance and blistering speed only increase Port’s gap on the competition in those aspects.
His ability to hit the scoreboard is far more impressive and consistent now than it was two years ago. Hinkley loves midfielders who can share the goal kicking spread.
Despite Port having the fourth highest goal kicker in the league in Jay Schulz, they rely heavily on others to share the load.
Amon would make a seamless transition into the Port Adelaide game style, as it bears a striking resemblance to the one the Dragons used in 2013. That may have been because the Dragons had Josh Kelly, Christian Salem, Nathan Freeman, Tom Langdon, Zach Merrett and Angus Brayshaw – but still, the hard running game style is one Amon slots into perfectly.
Internally and externally, Amon will not have too much pressure to succeed. However, the potential reward he can bring to the Power is unquestionable.