Wade Thompson poised for Port debut - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wade Thompson poised for Port debut

By Daniel Brettig 26/03/2009 04:37:39 PM Comments (0)

Wade Thompson's rapid rise from his fringe dwelling on the Port Adelaide rookie list to a place in the Power's best 22 for round one of the AFL season is almost complete, after he was officially elevated to the senior squad.

A speedy small forward with an eye for goal and a developing ability to do the hard things, 20-year-old Thompson now has only a day to wait to find out whether or not he will be chosen in the Port team to face Essendon at AAMI Stadium on Sunday.

The Power named a 25-man squad on Thursday, with the three emergencies to be finalised on Friday.

"You'd like to think if he is getting upgraded then he's a fair chance to play, so he's kicked a fair few goals for us in the pre-season cup and just his gradual improvement has been exciting for us," said Power captain Dom Cassisi.

Should he line up against the Bombers, it will cap a remarkable pre-season for Thompson, who did enough with North Adelaide in the SANFL to earn a rookie berth but was a long way back in the queue for places when Port reconvened for training late last year.

Impressive on the track for his natural pace and considerable smarts in attack, Thompson's stature grew with each pre-season cup appearance, starting with a trio of goals against Sydney at Manuka Oval.

He added further contributions against Geelong, North Melbourne and St Kilda to place the pressure on Port's match committee to pick him while they could, as a long-term injury to Jackson Trengove had opened up a spot on the senior list.

Cassisi said Thompson's progress had given Port some hope that he might fulfill a similar role to that played so ably by Hawthorn youngster Cyril Rioli in 2008.

"It'd be a massive effort, he's played pretty well in the SANFL last year and had you seen him day one of pre-season you'd have thought he was a long way away, but he's progressed quite quickly and he looks comfortable out there," he said.

"He's kicked goals for us in the forward line and we're really looking forward to him being a goalkicker and one of those guys who puts on a lot of defensive pressure, like a Cyril Rioli."

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