- While season 2015 failed to deliver on the hype, some of the club's lesser lights stood up in Sam Gray, Brendon Ah Chee and Karl Amon.
- The midfield has cleared the ball with ease this year, ranked second in clearances – narrowly behind Hawthorn.
- While the Power's tackle count has been high this year (ranked first), it's partly due to not having the footy. They're ranked 11th for disposals.
- Albeit too little, too late, the club's renewed aggression late in the season got it back to playing some genuinely impressive football.
- The club struggled to handle the weight of expectation this season as its on-field performance dropped right off when it mattered.
- With confidence low, the club's running game never really got going. Opposition sides were able to defend the Power too well, restricting their ball movement.
- Injuries to key players throughout the season also meant the Power were never able to get their best side out on the field.
4/10 – The Power finished agonisingly short of a finals appearance but given pre-season expectations of a Grand Final appearance, 2015 has been a thorough disappointment. Their saving grace was an encouraging run home.
What we said in the pre-season
We had the Power on top of the ladder as the finals begun – how wrong we were. The arrival of Patrick Ryder was seen as an element that would make Port very difficult to beat but his first season at the club failed to live up to the hype.
The fans' rating
It hasn't been the year Ken Hinkley wanted but he and his playing group have learned a lot through the club's failures. Hinkley's an experienced coach and would have previously dealt with a side's inability to handle expectation. His instruction has remained sound and he's managed to get his players back to a fierce and physical style of football that will hold them in good stead for the upcoming pre-season.
Chad Wingard: It's a real toss up between Wingard and Robbie Gray for who has been the club's most valuable in 2015, but Wingard's potency up forward edges him ahead. Up forward he's simply one of the best players in the game. The 22-year-old kicked at least two goals a game for 14 weeks straight to finish with 53 for the season and also averaged nearly 20 possessions a game.
Sam Gray: Midfielder Gray (no relation to Robbie) has proven himself a star at SANFL level for a number of seasons and his football intelligence has allowed him to translate his game to the elite level. He knows exactly how to accumulate possessions and has the skill to execute. Gray averaged 35 disposals a game in the final three rounds.
Brendon Ah Chee: Injuries to Ollie Wines this season exposed a need for increased depth at Alberton when it comes to inside midfielders. At 188cm and 84kg Ah Chee fit the bill, but in previous seasons injuries had restricted his development. He took important steps forward this year and could add serious value should he continue to build.
One of the few bright spots on a dark season was Brendon Ah Chee. Picture: AFL Media
Jared Polec The classy midfielder's speed and elite foot skills are crucial to the Power's success, so to lose the gun early in the season to a stress fracture in his foot stung. The 22-year-old played just five games before being put on ice; his lack of luck was a huge setback for the Power.
Best win: 22-point win over Hawthorn, round 21, Etihad Stadium.
The underdog victory was important to restore pride and confidence within the playing group. Losses to the competition's two worst sides hurt, but two against the Hawks proved all is not lost.
A loss to the Brisbane Lions in round seven set the tone and another to Carlton in round 12 was enough to write the Power off as any sort of contender in 2015.
The big questions
- Can Port get mentally stronger to deal with the expectation?
That expectation will be lower from the outside next year but the club will demand its players learn 2015's lesson.
- Can the players develop consistency with their ruthless mindset?
The message in the latter part of the year has been to hunt the ball and its carrier and they will have to continue that next year.
- Can the Power balance all their big men in the same 22?
With Charlie Dixon declaring his desire to play for the Power, coach Ken Hinkley will have to find a way to balance Dixon, Patrick Ryder and Matthew Lobbe in the same team.
Season in a song
It's too late – Carole King
Retirements: The club's games record holder, Kane Cornes, called it quits midway through the season to become a fireman but he could be the only retiree in 2015. Rookie-listed Tom Logan won't play another AFL game but the club loves what he brings in terms of his mentoring and behaviour as a role model. He could well be retained in that capacity.
Delistings: The winner of the first season of reality footy show The Recruit, Johann Wagner hasn't developed his game to the level some thought possible this season. He hasn't done much in the SANFL and hasn't gotten close to an AFL debut. Similar could be said about fellow rookie Sam Russell. Ruckman Jarrad Redden appears likely to be delisted, but has worked harder than almost anyone to return to SANFL football after an horrific run of injuries. With so many big men on their list, the Power might also look to farewell Mitch Harvey.
The big name tipped to leave Alberton is the Power's goal-kicker Jay Schulz. He's almost certain to join Fremantle in search of a longer contract than what was offered at the Power. John Butcher is another out of contract at season's end and six weeks ago probably would have featured in the 'potential delistings' category. But his form improved late and the rhetoric from Ken Hinkley suggested the club was keen to hang onto the popular figure.
What they need
Should Schulz become a Docker as is expected, Port will want to add a key forward to its squad. The man to to fill that void is Gold Coast's Charlie Dixon, who has formerly requested a trade to the club. Hinkley has flagged a desire to add strong, inside midfielders to his side but would have been pleased by the emergence of Ah Chee late in the season. Overall the club still has a relatively young, balanced list and drastic changes aren't required.
10pm. Port has taken a step backwards this year, but the playing group still possesses what is required to win a flag. More consistent performance and the Power will be back.
Top six. Season 2015 was a disaster, but the playing group appears to have learnt a valuable lesson. With its key players back from injury you'd expect the Power to rebound strongly.