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Port already looking to 2013

Sportal July 27, 2012, 3:06 pm
Matthew Primus

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Port Adelaide have already identified targets and started to assess their playing list ahead of next season, coach Matthew Primus said.

After high hopes for a season of renewal in 2012 following last year's dismal 16th place finish, the Power yet again crashed early.

A shock opening-round win over St Kilda breathed life into the club's hopes but they were quickly dashed as six consecutive losses followed.

The Power enjoyed a mini-revival in late May stringing together three wins in a row, however a tough run that included clashes with four of the current top-eight sides buried the 2004 Premiers' season.

With his side languishing in 14th and set to miss finals action for the fifth successive year, Primus admitted the Power had shifted some focus towards building for next season, particularly with list management.

Primus said with six weeks remaining in the regular home-and-away season it was too early to be concerned with recruiting, but confirmed the club had begun preparing.

"We will look to strengthen our list through free agency or by trading and also with the (national) draft," Primus said.

"But it's going to play out a long time because free agency isn't until October ... so there's a long stretch, especially if you're not playing finals, for a lot of work to be done.

"There won't be many calls made until around that time I wouldn't have thought but our recruiters and list managers are definitely looking at it."

Despite conceding his side needed strengthening to push for the top eight and beyond, Primus is pleased with the development of the current crop of men in the teal, black and white.

"We think our list is improving and by the end of this year there will have been a number of players who have improved," Primus said.

"As I said we will look to strengthen our list but we are still confident the majority of the players on our list now are going to be better next year."

One deal the Power are eager to wrap up before they begin their heavy off-season recruitment process is the re-signing of star on-baller Travis Boak.

Port remains confident that the 23-year-old will extend his stay at Alberton despite recent enticement from Geelong the club nearest to Boak's family home.

Primus was in a jovial mood when quizzed on the finer details of the club's contract offer to Boak and was hopeful of an announcement soon.

"Ten years would be nice ... get him to sign here long term for us," Primus joked.

"We are pretty positive that he is going to stay here and Travis' discussions with us ... indicate that he is.

"We are just continuing to work at it and hopefully there will be some good news to announce soon."

Primus confirmed out-of-form utility Darren Preiffer has been given a reprieve and will replace the injured Jaspar Pittard.

Pittard is expected to return to Adelaide on Friday after fracturing his ribs and puncturing a lung in a sickening collision with team-mate Chad Wingard in last Saturday's victory over Melbourne in Darwin.

Pittard spent time in a Darwin hospital and was unable to fly home with the Power on Sunday due to the bleeding in his lung, and instead had to take The Ghan train.

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