SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Port lesser light set for pivotal role against GWS


The lesser light in Port Adelaide's star-studded midfield looms as a pivotal player in the semi-final against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday night.

Unheralded Willem Drew seems set to be tasked with minding Giants playmaker Josh Kelly in the knockout fixture at Adelaide Oval.

Drew shut down the Brisbane Lions' ace Lachie Neale last week, yet the Power still lost the qualifying final by 48 points.

"Drewy has done some great jobs for us all year," Port coach Ken Hinkley said.

"And if there's a player out there that we think is worthy of Drewy's attention, we will certainly do that.

"It doesn't mean he's always going to win that battle either by the way.

"And it doesn't guarantee you a win or loss in the game as we've seen last week, he did an outstanding job on Lachie Neale but Brisbane won the game comfortably.

"He (Drew) has got concentration levels and desire to really compete and do whatever the team needs.

"He's always been that player - he's a a young leader of our team if I'm being completely honest and will take on whatever role we need and he commits to it."

Drew is a low-key feature of a Power midfield headlined by All Australians Connor Rozee and Zak Butters and Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines.

The Giants' on-ball brigade is also stacked with talent with Kelly, Tom Green, Callan Ward and returning skipper Stephen Coniglio.

And Hinkley was well aware of the preferred mode of the GWS midfield: attack, with speed.

"The team we're playing have got a real need to get going quick and they want to take the game quick so it makes it a real battle," he said.

"Both teams have a passion for speed.

"Both teams have a passion for defence too.

"Unfortunately, we haven't quite had it at the level we need to have it and if we don't get to that level, we will lose the game."

Port axed out-of-sorts forward Jeremy Finlayson, with Charlie Dixon to return for his first game since suffering a foot injury on July 29.

GWS stalwart Coniglio replaces Xavier O'Halloran from the Giants team who downed St Kilda by 24 points in an elimination final last weekend.