Port Adelaide’s ka-ching thing

Robbie Gray, Tom Logan and Chad Wingard celebrate
Robbie Gray, Tom Logan and Chad Wingard celebrate

AFL | Port Adelaide’s winning ways are delivering much needed cash into the club’s football operations.

Unexpected wins against Sydney and Collingwood have triggered cash donations from the club’s “Premiership Fund” – a group of committed supporters who promised a set payment after each win.

The fund is an initiative of CEO Keith Thomas and close to 600 supporters signed up at the start of the season.

Each nominates how much they will donate to the club on a per win basis, with the guarantee that all funds will be spent in the football department.

“Each win equates to a contribution of $8500, around $15 per contributor,” Thomas explained this week.

“In May we purchased our first piece of equipment from funds derived directly from the Premiership Fund – an anti-gravity treadmill known as the ‘AlterG’.

“Jackson Trengove’s ability to resume from an eight week injury and play as well as he did on Saturday, is very largely as a result of his training on the ‘AlterG’. It’s important stuff.”

Thomas said the two principle ideas behind the Premiership Fund are focussed on broad-based support and success.

“Firstly, many hands make light work; my vision is for thousands of our supporters, contributing at whatever level they can comfortably afford, knowing they are directly helping us build a competitive football program. We are all on this special journey.

“Secondly, give before you take. We want to earn your support – only a win will activate your Premiership Fund contribution.

“The Premiership Fund is about rewarding success, and helping us ensure that we can continue to provide the team with the resources it needs to stay competitive.”

The 31,000 supporters at Saturday’s game against Collingwood sounded more than happy with the winning ways.

On more good news for Port, the club have re-signed youngster Chad Wingard for another three AFL seasons.

Wingard has kicked 33 goals in 32 games since making his debut for the Power in last year’s opening round.

He has proven his worth this season, playing every one of Port’s 13 matches with an average 21 disposals per game and kicking 22 goals so far.

Wingard said he is grateful for the opportunity to stay at the club and excited about his future with them.

“I love it here at Port Adelaide. I’m only an hour away from my family at Murray Bridge, so this is home for me,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“If it’s up to me I’ll be at Port Adelaide for a long time.

“We know as a club where we are heading and with our young group the future looks exciting and I just want to be part of it and play my role for the team.”

Power coach Ken Hinkley said he was thrilled at Wingard’s contract extension and lauded his on-field versatility.

“His form this year has been first-class and he’s added so much to our team through his flexibility,” Hinkley said.

“Chad loves playing against the better sides and he certainly thrives in the environment of playing in tough, contested games.”

Another Chad, meanwhile, has pulled the pin on his career.

Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney veteran Chad Cornes announced his retirement from AFL this morning.

A foundation player with the Giants, Cornes, 33, was a member of Port Adelaide’s 2004 premiership winning side and played 239 games for the Power before moving to Sydney.

Cornes played 16 games for the Giants but has not taken the field in 2013 due to a knee injury.

He will continue his involvement with the Giants in a coaching role at the club.

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