THINGS changed at Port Adelaide from the moment Ken Hinkley put Connor Rozee back in the midfield halfway through the round five game against Carlton at the MCG. 

Port Adelaide nearly recovered from 50 points down before eventually falling just short by three points to slump to 0-5. 

But the momentum shifted.

As identified by AFL.com.au at the end of round six, the Rozee switch coincided with a dramatic shift in fortune at Alberton, which has continued to the point where the club has now won seven of nine games to climb off the canvas and move within one win of the top eight. 

With no Charlie Dixon or Orazio Fantasia in the early stages of the season, Port Adelaide needed Rozee to spend more time closer to goal to help impact the scoreboard. 

But since coach Ken Hinkley scrunched up that idea and threw Rozee back into the middle, the 22-year-old has been the catalyst behind the Power's resurgence in 2022.

Between rounds six and 15, only overall leader Clayton Oliver (55 of his total of 76) has polled more votes in the AFL Coaches Association Award than Rozee (47 of his 49), with the young gun collecting more than Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale (43 of 65) and reigning Coleman medallist Jeremy Cameron (43 of 53) in that time. 

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The 2018 No.5 pick is currently eighth in that coveted prize, with Andrew Brayshaw, Patrick Cripps, Touk Miller and Christian Petracca also ahead of him, along with Oliver, Neale and Cameron. 

Fair company. 

When Port Adelaide wins games, it has been Rozee who has dominated. Twice he has polled the maximum votes (including on Sunday against Gold Coast), as well as one haul of nine votes and two eight-vote games.  

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The North Adelaide product doesn't need 30-plus disposals to inflict maximum damage – he has only had more than 30 once in his 73-game career. Rozee has proven to be a major weapon with his game-breaking ability and deadly ball use.

Since that loss to the Blues, Rozee has averaged 25 disposals, 4.7 inside 50s and 4.4 clearances across the nine games that have reshaped Port Adelaide's season. 

After attending only seven centre-square bounces in the first month of the season, Rozee has attended the second-most (135) at Alberton behind Ollie Wines since round six, ranking level with Travis Boak for first possessions and clearances, just behind the reigning Brownlow medallist in both categories. 

When it comes to players classified by Champion Data as mid-forwards, only Josh Dunkley, Shai Bolton, Marcus Bontempelli, Stephen Coniglio and Patrick Lipinski have registered more score involvements in the past nine games, with Rozee involved in 25.6 per cent of Port Adelaide's scores.  

Not many saw a 0-5 start coming for Port Adelaide, but even fewer saw this response. Rozee has been a key reason why the Power still have a pulse this winter.