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Schulz laughs off Port's Buddy play

By Harry Thring  March 7, 2013 2:34 PM

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Jay Schulz believes the Power are unlikely to lure Lance Franklin to Port

To be perfectly honest, no one probably really expects Buddy to move

DAVID Koch is a loved man at Alberton, but Power forward Jay Schulz laughed off his chairman's suggestions Port could make a play for Hawthorn superstar Lance Franklin.

On Tuesday Koch claimed the Power had "plenty of room under our salary cap" and would be in the market for the out-of-contract Franklin at season's end .

But on Thursday, Schulz described Koch as a "funny man" and "excited" on the back of the club's significant sponsorship deal with French motoring giant Renault.

"Kochie's a little bit excited at the moment about Renault and he seems to be trying to take over the world," Schulz teased.

"We love his enthusiasm, he's been fantastic for us, but to be perfectly honest, no one probably really expects Buddy to move, I expect him to play at Hawthorn.

"Kochie's a funny man and we love him for who he is, but to be perfectly honest [Franklin's contract status has] nothing to do with us at this time of the year."

But while Schulz joked about Kochie's ambition to bring Franklin to Alberton, he was deadly serious when he declared his intent for season 2013 and beyond.

The Power won just five games last year, but Schulz said it was quite conceivable they could drastically improve and maybe even sneak into the top eight within the next few seasons.

"There's no real recipe for how teams change it around but teams have shown in the past that they can turn it around from being down the bottom to going into the finals," he said.

"There's no reason as to why teams can't turn it around whether it be in 12 months, 18, two years … I've played 10 years and I've never played finals footy and it's the main thing that's driving me.

"It's something that I'm desperate to do and I'll do everything I can to help us get there.

"We want to be up there winning games and playing finals."

Schulz described injury-plagued forward John Butcher as key to Port's hopes of turning its fortunes around, after news the 21-year-old would line up for the Port Adelaide Magpies on Friday in a SANFL trial.

Butcher has been luckless since bursting onto the AFL scene with 11 goals in three matches in 2011 and managed just eight games last year due to hip injuries.

He recently joined the Power's main training group and Schulz said it was a shock to be reminded how good he actually was.

"Johnny spent a lot of the pre-season on the sidelines and comes back into training a few weeks ago and lights up the track and you sort of forget about how talented the kid is," Schulz said.

"He's going to be fantastic for the future of this club for a lot of years to come.

"We're really excited that he's feeling comfortable in his body and he's running around, he's looking really, really fit and he's really excited to get out there and have a hit-out."

John Butcher is a forward in AFL Fantasy. He averaged 40 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy hub.

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry.