Brogan or bust for Port's ruck division - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brogan or bust for Port's ruck division

By Daniel Brettig 29/07/2008 04:48:56 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide are relying on the good faith of Dean Brogan to ensure they do not go into 2009 with one of the weakest ruck stables in the AFL.

The age and injury-related decline of Brendon Lade, the stalled development of Fabian Deluca and the retirement earlier this year of Hugh Minson have left the Power looking hopefully towards Brogan for the time being - a fact underlined by last week's loss to Fremantle.

Whenever Brogan was on the field, Port grabbed the momentum, but whenever he went off, the Dockers carried all before them, helped in no small part by Deluca's inability to hit his ruck taps to advantage.

Complicating matters is that 29-year-old Brogan is out of contract at year's end and is understood to be playing hard ball over a new deal.

Jonathan Giles is the only other tall on Port's senior list, but he has spent most of 2008 languishing in the SANFL reserves.

Power coach Mark Williams said he was relying on Brogan not to hold the club to ransom, especially when maximum room must be freed up in Port's salary cap to help coax other players to Alberton.

"Broges and I talk quite often about the whole range of things and I'm sure we'll get to talk about that (contracts)," Williams said.

"He knows the position of the club.

"He's certainly a required player and one that week after week, we see greater things from."

Deluca's inability so far to make an impact on games is not a new thing for a ruckman, but there will be some concern around Alberton that a player in his fourth year remains considerably less apt for the task than he should be.

Williams appears content to be patient for the time being, and he offered the examples of numerous ruckmen who began as unheralded rookies - Dean Cox among them - or obscure mature pick-ups to support his attitude.

"Fabian didn't play very well and he's the first to admit that, but Aaron Sandilands is a pretty good player and certainly wins a lot of the knocks, so we'll see how Fabian goes in the next couple of weeks," Williams said.

"Dean Cox is probably the No.1 in the league and he started as a rookie, no one liked him in the draft.

"If you look at Dean Brogan, it was the same thing - there is a bit of history of that sort of stuff with ruckmen.

"Ben Hudson is a gun ruckman and no one wanted him in the early days, so there are quite a few examples of that and we'd like to think we can stick with them (young ruckmen), go through the tough times and make sure that in the end you've made the right choices."

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