Peter Burgoyne 'needs to be fresh' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Peter Burgoyne 'needs to be fresh'

17/07/2009 05:07:38 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide's decision to drop errant midfielder Peter Burgoyne need not hasten the end of his decorated AFL career, according to coach Mark Williams.

Burgoyne was dreadful during the Power's round-15 loss to Melbourne, prompting his demotion to the SANFL ahead of Sunday's match against West Coast.

He is out of contract at year's end, and at the age of 31 will be hard pressed to earn a new deal.

In 2009 Burgoyne has maintained an exemplary record as a clearance winner, but other areas of his game, such as chasing and tackling, have fallen away badly.

Williams said Burgoyne had struggled with the mental toll of losing form, having not experienced extended droughts in the past.

"Honestly Peter just needs to be fresh, that's all," Williams said on Friday.

"He has played a long time in footy. He has never really had a poor run of form ever, so it's something new to him.

"It's easy for a young player or a person who has dealt with that all their lives but it's pretty tough for someone who has been as proud or as elite as Peter Burgoyne.

"He probably rates in our top three best players of all time, and we should respect that.

"The fact is we hope in a few weeks time he'll be back and showing his best stuff again and it's just a moment in time for him.

"People get a little bit romantic about being 30 and that's it.

"But just have a look at the Crows players, a lot of their best players (Tyson Edwards, Simon Goodwin, Andrew McLeod) are 31, 32 or 33."

Burgoyne's future may appear bleak, but Williams said he expected his player to respond strongly, also denying he was battling any off-field issues that have distracted from his preparation.

"It'll be up to how he plays by the end of the year, but he's fully aware of that, so it's no news to him," Williams said.

"At the end of last year he had a one-year contract so I think it's important for him to go back and freshen up.

"If he can play some good games back there we'll be delighted to have him in our side, because a fresh and in-form Peter Burgoyne fits into our side very easily."

Burgoyne's brother Shaun is getting closer to full training, and Williams expressed belief that he could be back in contention to play within a week.

Port have named teenager Matthew Broadbent to make his AFL debut.

Broadbent, 18, was taken with pick No.38 at last year's national draft and has been close to selection for some weeks as a frequent member of Port's emergency list.

Having supported Port Adelaide all his life, Broadbent was understandably delighted about the chance to play his first game.

"I've followed Port my whole life so it's pretty special, a dream come true to actually be wearing the guernsey, hopefully I'll do it proud and get a win," he said on Friday.

"Being an emergency so many times made me want it even a bit more to be so close."

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