Port lose injured forward for AFL final

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Port Adelaide goalsneak Orazio Fantasia will replace injured teammate Mitch Georgiades for Friday night's AFL qualifying final against Geelong.

Georgiades was substituted out of last week's win over the Western Bulldogs because of hamstring soreness.

The 19-year-old trained on Wednesday but failed to convince coach Ken Hinkley he was fully fit.

"The risk is not worth taking, clearly it's a massive game," Hinkley told reporters on Thursday.

"His scans are OK and he trained OK, not top end - that made the decision easier for us."

Former Essendon forward Fantasia will return after missing the Bulldogs game because of hamstring tightness.

Geelong summoned midfielder Mitch Duncan after a 10-week absence because of a knee injury with Max Holmes and Shaun Higgins dropped, with one a likely medical sub.

Port will be the sole finalists to host a game on home soil this week but Hinkley said it was impossible to quantify any benefit.

"It's not an excuse and it's not an advantage," he said.

"All I am is very happy we're playing in front of 15,000 Port people and hopefully even a few more if that could happen."

The Adelaide Oval crowd capacity is unlikely to be raised for the re-match of last year's qualifying final between the clubs.

Port won that final by 16 points but Geelong went on to play in the grand final.

In mid-June this year, the Cats downed Port by 21 points at Adelaide Oval.

"It's just so incredibly hard to win at this level at the end of the year," Hinkley said.

"I have been in the game for a long, long time, I know how hard it is to get there.

"We have given ourselves a great chance. We have earnt that great chance.

"And we know the quality of the sides we are going to have to beat now - they will step up, we have to step up with them.

"But we're as well-placed as any of the teams in the top eight."

Hinkley had no doubt his squad was better placed than last year when Port lost a preliminary final to eventual premiers Richmond.

"We are better prepared because we have been through this only 12 months ago," he said.

"... They have had some experience, they have done it, they have been through it, they understand it a little bit better.

"So we're better prepared to understand what the challenges of finals will be."

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