EMERGING Port Adelaide defender Tom Clurey is looking to North Melbourne's All Australian full-back Scott Thompson for inspiration in his quest for an AFL debut.

It's not hard to see why either – both are physically similar at 193cm and although the more experienced Thompson has a few kilograms on the Power's 19-year-old, Clurey is rapidly building his frame.

But as a fast, running tall with a powerful engine, it's Thompson's ability to play off his opponent and generate attack from deep in defence that Clurey particularly likes.

Playing for a struggling Glenelg side in the 2013 SANFL season, Clurey's rebound from defensive 50 was often a highlight as he made the most of his strong running ability, illustrated by a 15.1 beep test at the 2012 NAB AFL Draft Combine.

"I studied a bit of Scott Thompson from North Melbourne during the season, so I watched his games and his vision," Clurey told AFL.com.au.

"It's good with new technology to be able to watch just about every game and from different angles, so you learn different things here and there.

"He's good one-on-one but he takes the game on too, which is something Kenny (Hinkley) is keen for me to do as well.

"They know I'm good offensively with the ball, but they just want me to keep working on my one-on-one defence and get bigger and stronger."

Closer to home, Clurey works alongside the Power's full-back Alipate Carlile who, coincidentally, was also drafted to the club from TAC Cup side the Murray Bushrangers.

Carlile is the club's main man when it comes to guarding the opposition's strongest forward – a role Clurey will be pushing for over the next few years.

He's worked hard to get bigger since arriving at Alberton and said he was more comfortable in the gym than he when the Power drafted him with pick No.29 in 2012.

"I put on three or four kilos last year which was probably the biggest thing for me after getting drafted – I hadn't done any weights before," he said.

"This pre-season, I've adapted to that better than I did last year and although I'm weighing about the same as last year, hopefully I'm a bit stronger.

"They'd like me to try and put on a couple more kilos, but the main thing is to just get stronger and lift heavier weights in the gym so I can match it with the heavier forwards.

"My goal going into next year was to get a full pre-season and I'm yet to miss a session."

If not picked in the Power's senior side, Clurey's time in the SANFL will likely become easier next year with the introduction of Port's standalone AFL reserves side.

He said the change would be particularly beneficial for the club's first-year players, who might not have had much previous experience with game tactics at all, let alone having to master sets for two teams.

"I think it'll help a lot having all the boys playing together using the same structures and setups – it'll make it a lot easier than in the past.
"'Buddha' (SANFL coach Garry Hocking) and the other assistant coaches will be able to play guys in spots where Kenny Hinkley wants us, so I think it'll help a lot.

"Coming from the Bushies (Murray Bushrangers), we only trained together once a week as a full team, so we didn't have a lot of setups and structures - it was a bit difficult to get your head around two lots of game plans."

Twitter: @AFL_Harry