Port hoping to avoid further humiliation - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port hoping to avoid further humiliation

By Daniel Brettig 22/08/2008 07:03:52 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide have coughed up AFL defeats from just about anywhere this season.

Forty-seven points up against Brisbane, 30 points up against Carlton and 38 points up against Hawthorn, the Power lost them all.

But to lose at home to Melbourne, the AFL's most inept side of 2008, would quite possibly be the worst of the lot.

Dees coach and former Power assistant Dean Bailey seemed to agree, gleefully pointing out how much his former mentor Mark Williams would squirm at the thought of finishing short of the bottom side.

"I don't think Port Adelaide would want to lose to the bottom team, I wouldn't have thought," Bailey said after touching down in Adelaide with his team.

"I think Choco (Williams) has always been a very competitive bloke, as I am, and hopefully the game will be a really good spectacle and we get some people to come along."

Change is in the air at Alberton, where the Power this week installed a new chief executive, Mark Haysman, and new president, Brett Duncanson.

The departure of Port's inaugural AFL president Greg Boulton was cause for high emotion in the Power rooms prior to Friday's final training session, where Justin Westhoff surprisingly proved his fitness after being all but ruled out midweek.

Marlon Motlop, the 18-year-old cousin of Daniel Motlop, will debut for Port at AAMI Stadium, while Dean Brogan and defender Paul Stewart also return.

Power assistant coach Jason Cripps said while Boulton's departure was, like Michael Wilson's retirement last week, a source of motivation, he was tiring of the thought that players needed a "gimmick' to succeed.

"Greg addressed the players before training and was quite emotional in terms of his thoughts and contribution to the club," Cripps said.

"That's a little bit more incentive for the players, but you'd be disappointed if you've got to wheel out Michael Wilson one week to get a good effort and then you've got to wheel out the president, who is leaving, the next week to get a good effort.

"We'd like to think our players are better than that and can find some self-motivation - that's what we work on and we certainly don't want to be rolling out gimmicks each week."

Cripps said more than anything else it had been a lack of self-belief that had stopped Port's players from achieving in 2008.

His admission reflected starkly on the effects of last year's 119-point grand final thumping by Geelong, a loss many reckoned would take years to recover from.

"We've investigated as to some of the reasons for why it's happened, we've worked on it recently in training, we'll work on it again in pre-season but we believe the main reason is the confidence and the self-belief of individuals," Cripps said of the downfall.

Supporters have not responded well to Port's lack of results, and AAMI Stadium's SANFL custodians have budgeted for a crowd of around 15,000 on Saturday.

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