Port defender Aliir volunteers for toughest of tasks
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley admits it's the missing piece of his on-field jigsaw: a big backman to counter towering forwards.
"We have tried to fix most of our areas of concern," Hinkley told AAP.
"And other than the tall back that we did go after and didn't get, most of the things we were able to achieve were pretty exciting."
Hinkley recruited to bolster his midfield (Jason Horne-Francis) and small forwards (Junior Rioli).
But efforts to lure a tall backman - notably Esava Ratugolea from Geelong - were unsuccessful.
But Hinkley's missing piece could be found from within, according to Aliir Aliir.
Aliir, at 195cm, is the tallest of Port's key defensive batch featuring Tom Jonas (188cm) and Tom Clurey (193cm).
Aliir, despite being renowned as an intercept defender, is volunteering for the task of quelling big opposition forwards such as Geelong's Tom Hawkins and Carlton's Harry McKay.
"We were able to do that towards the back-end of last year where I was able to go on the No.1 forward and try and shut them down," Aliir said in Perth on Tuesday.
"When I did come back from injury, I told them (coaching staff) I am not just an intercept player because that is what everyone thought, I would just fly across.
"But I can play that one-on-one. I can play tall and small.
"So I have always told Ken, whatever you need me to do, I'm happy to do it.
"It's up to the match committee whether they explore me playing on their No.1 or (as) that intercept player, but as long as we're getting wins I don't really care where I play."
Aliir was an All Australian in 2021, his first season at Port after spending five seasons with Sydney.
But last year he had surgery on an ankle injury suffered in round one and, while playing 19 games, struggled to hit peak form.
"My form, I was really up-and-down," he said.
"Just the inconsistency, usually you try and keep it to a minimum but mine was probably just too much of a wave and a gap.
"I am feeling good now, I was able to complete the full preseason with no dramas."
Port's preseason continues in Perth with a practice game against Fremantle on Thursday, after the Power lost a trial match to West Coast by eight points last Friday.