Port seek greener pastures in Darwin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port seek greener pastures in Darwin

By Daniel Brettig 25/06/2008 05:54:31 PM Comments (0)

Much like his enigmatic performances on the football field for Port Adelaide, Daniel Motlop's press conference was not complete without the odd brain fade.

In the space of a few minutes, Motlop appeared to indicate he had no idea of Steve Salopek's Achilles injury, forgot the name of fringe midfielder Adam Thomson and was unable to answer the oft-asked question "What's wrong with the Power?"

But in between the unintentional comic relief there was a string of frank responses from a player who, paradoxically, is enjoying his best year at the same time Port are slogging through one of their worst.

This week the Power are scheduled to meet the Western Bulldogs in the steamy surrounds of Darwin.

The birthplace of Motlop and Shaun Burgoyne, it is a chance for the players to refresh themselves in a different climate following the hurt of forfeiting what remained of their finals hopes last week.

"It's an exciting week for myself and also Shaun born up there as well - everyone's up there still so I'll have all the family up there and hopefully I can organise some tickets," Motlop said.

"It's pretty nice this time of year, dry season, the humidity's not quite as bad, not coming from there you'd probably feel it a little bit but personally I'll enjoy it.

"We're all trying to stay positive, we're doing everything right off the field with the leadership group and no-one's done anything wrong - as long as we keep doing everything right, eventually it's got to come."

Coach Mark Williams has been under increased scrutiny, both as an on-field tactician and as the all round leadership figure at Port.

Motlop said it was simply a case of the players getting a win to help silence the growing chorus of doubters.

"Choco's doing a good job and there is no negativity in the group - everyone loves him down here and all the coaches are doing a good job," he said.

"Hopefully a win comes and stops all this stuff that is going on."

Port's squad trained willingly given the raft of changes expected at selection on Thursday.

Peter Burgoyne, Chad Cornes, Brendon Lade and Michael Wilson are among a group of senior names whose places are under review, Burgoyne out for the next two weeks at least with a hamstring strain while Cornes decides whether or not to rest a sore knee.

Lade and Wilson are considered close to being omitted for reasons of form despite their revered status at the club.

Back-up ruckman Fabian Deluca is due an opportunity, and against a Bulldogs side not noted for being top heavy, Lade seems likely to make way for his younger compatriot, nine months after being named All Australian ruckman for the second straight year.

Motlop said it was fair to suggest the club's older heads were feeling threatened by a change in focus towards the long-term future.

"The older blokes probably feel threatened, we've got a few younger blokes coming in which is exciting and going to make it very exciting this week," he said.

"Fabian's in line with Ladey and Broges, hopefully he can come in and play well."

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