Kane Cornes has once again been left flabbergasted after hitting out at his former club over the eight-year deal handed to Connor Rozee. Rozee was tipped to take over as captain of the club and the 23-year-old was announced as the eighth Power skipper having also been handed the No.1 jumper from the recently retired Tom Jonas.
The youngster also signed a mega eight-year contract that will see him remain with Port Adelaide until the end of 2032. He becomes the equal-longest contracted AFL player in the league alongside Western Bulldogs forward Aaron Naughton.
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"To be captain of Port Adelaide, a club that is more than 150 years old, is a huge honour," Rozee said. "It's so humbling to follow in the footsteps of club greats such as Russell Ebert, Gavin Wanganeen, Matthew Primus, Travis Boak, the list just goes on and on.
"To wear the No.1 guernsey is something I'm incredibly proud of and I won't take for granted. I feel I'm ready to lead our group moving forward. No doubt I'll learn along the way but I know I'll have great support from the rest of my leadership group and also former captains Ollie Wines and Travis Boak."
However, club great Cornes has been very vocal about the length of contracts AFL clubs are throwing at players. And Cornes admits he was torn having been thrilled the club has tied down one of his favourite current footy stars.
But Cornes admitted he doesn't feel long contracts tend to work in the favour of the club. "Love the players, hate the contract," Cornes wrote on social media after the announcement.
— Kane Cornes (@kanecornes) December 10, 2023
He also talked about the contract nearly a month ago when he heard about the reports it was in the works. “I think someone has got a voodoo doll,” Cornes said on SEN Radio in October. “I think someone's got one with my face on it and they're putting needles into it because there's a big long-term contract that's about to be signed very, very close to home.
“Right under my nose and it will feature my first or second favourite player in the league. It’ll be for Connor Rozee, the next captain of Port Adelaide, put your house on that.
“It’s happening, I love him. But I think they never work out in the favour of the club apart from the odd exception." Cornes did congratulate Rozee on the contract and said it was a win for the player and his management. Cornes was a huge critic of Naughton's contract, which he blasted at the time of signing.
Connor Rozee thrilled at long-term deal
Rozee has played 106 games for Port Adelaide and is a two-time All-Australian. The 23-year-old admitted the huge contract was a dream. "Since the day I walked into this club I have never wanted to leave, so to commit for what is likely to be my entire career is pleasing," Rozee said.
"I love what this club stands for, I'm so connected to the playing group and coaches, I'm confident of where we are heading and I'm a South Australian, so there's no other club I'd rather call home." Coach Ken Kinkley was obviously thrilled to have secured Rozee in the long-term deal.
"Connor is a generational player and a critical component of our midfield," Hinkley said. "Connor is going to continue to thrill our members and supporters with the way he plays and most importantly, lead our playing group by what he represents as a person and teammate. To have him commit to Port Adelaide for the next eight years is a very exciting day for our whole club."
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