IT'S BEEN a meteoric rise for Port Adelaide’s reigning best and fairest winner Chad Wingard, and on the eve of his 50th AFL match, he says there’s plenty more to come.

The 20-year-old gained All Australian selection and took out the Power's John Cahill Medal last season, just his second in the League.

Wingard quickly developed a reputation as a big-time performer, often lifting to prove the match-winner for the Power.

But it’s 275-game veteran Kane Cornes' mental drive that Wingard is seeking to emulate in his next 50 games.

"It's a big journey to try and improve each year and I'm going to take a lot out of Kane Cornes' book that you need to continually have that urge to improve," Wingard said on Wednesday.

"He (Cornes) is the pinnacle of what players want to be.

"He's got the club [games] record, he's been through the highs and lows and he's completely changed his game from when he first started.

"[I won't be] selfish about who I am and [I'll] try to improve myself, but try to improve the team as well."

Wingard's rise to stardom is more impressive, given the surroundings in which he started his AFL career.

When drafted to the Power with pick No. six at the 2011 NAB AFL Draft, his club was in a world of hurt.

Its three wins for that year saw it finish second last ahead of a Gold Coast unit in its debut season, but only on percentage. Things didn't get any easier in 2012, which ultimately saw Matthew Primus sacked as coach. The tragic death of teammate John McCarthy followed.

It meant Wingard's first two years at the elite level exposed him to far more of the lows of the game than most youngsters experience.

Yet he emerged from the darkness as a beacon for Power fans, quickly establishing himself as the one of the most exciting young players in the League and drawing a comparison to club legend Gavin Wanganeen – from Wanganeen himself.

Wingard said that although his introduction to elite football was difficult, it had undoubtedly forced him to grow.

"When you get chucked in the deep end you have to learn very quick," he said.

"My 50 games - it feels like a long time and it's been a very tough battle but I think the thing that's made it most rewarding is having players around me who have been in this situation and [we're] going through it together.

"It's a united club which has made it very helpful going through some of the stuff I've been through."

His acceptance of a new team role in 2014, which has seen him play deeper in attack and handle the ball less is testament to the Wingard's character.

He's averaged 16 disposals a game this year, five fewer than last, but he said the success of the move could be clearly seen by the Power's 6-1 win/loss record.

"I don’t find it hard at all, the wins are showing [it's working]…it's all about the team and if I'm playing deeper and it's working for the team then obviously I'm going to keep doing it," he said.

Twitter: @AFL_Harry