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Rockliff: I wasn't ready for season's start

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To get some confidence out of the last two performances and know I can compete at the level is really important
Tom Rockliff

IF HE had his time again, Port Adelaide midfielder Tom Rockliff would've spent the first two weeks of the season in the SANFL to make up for an interrupted pre-season.

But the marquee recruit is going a long way to achieving his goal of earning the respect of his new teammates after a stellar return to the Power's senior side.

Rockliff struggled through the first four rounds of the season, averaging 12 possessions per game, before a calf injury forced him to miss round five.

He then spent two weeks regaining his form in the SANFL before being recalled for the round eight Showdown against Adelaide, where he starred with 31 disposals in the Power's five-point victory.

Rockliff then backed that performance up with 26 touches in last weekend's 40-point win against Gold Coast in Shanghai.

"It was a pretty big call from the coaches at the time and one I'm thankful they made," Rockliff told reporters on Friday.

"The hardest thing for me was earning the respect of my teammates, that's the most important thing when you get to a new club.

"You want to earn that respect, and I wasn't able to do that in the first four games."

Rockliff had a shoulder reconstruction at the end of last season and a knee injury in the pre-season.

He said he knew after the Power's round two win against Sydney – where he finished with just nine disposals – that something wasn't right.

"I did not contribute whatsoever," he said.

"There was one handball late that Kenny (coach Ken Hinkley) tried to sell and pump me up and get me going, but it didn't happen.

"The good thing is we've won six games and the team is in a really good position.

"To get some confidence out of the last two performances and know I can compete at the level is really important."

Rockliff has touched base with his former Brisbane teammate and Lions skipper Dayne Beams, who has stepped down to deal with personal issues after the death of his father in March.

"I actually spoke to him this morning and I've spoken to him a little bit throughout the process," Rockliff said.

"He spoke so well the other day about the mental side of the game.

"There's so much positive in what he did in such a negative situation.

"Dayne's put himself first, which is important.

"You don't want anyone to go through that period, but I'm sure he'll come through that period much stronger."

The Power (6-3) had a light training session on Friday in their first day back at the club after their trip to China.

Star ruckman Paddy Ryder only walked laps of the ground as part of the ongoing management with his Achilles injury.

The Power, who have a bye this weekend, will have another training session on Saturday.

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