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Youth and age a potent mix for Power

Football

Port Adelaide’s return as an AFL contender can be traced to the club’s youngest and oldest, midfielder Brad Ebert says.

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After missing the finals the past two years, the Power sit in fourth spot entering Saturday’s game against Melbourne at the MCG.

Ebert says he’s among Port players being inspired by young talent such as Sam Powell-Pepper, and the selfless leadership of coach Ken Hinkley and captain Travis Boak.

Ebert says he can’t help but be lifted by the feats of Powell-Pepper, a 19-year-old who hasn’t missed a game in his first AFL year.

“It’s an impressive debut season, isn’t it,” Ebert said.

“It’s very similar to what Ollie (Wines) did a few years back when he was just able to consistently back up week after week.

“He might have a couple of lulls here and there but his thirst for the contest has been brilliant and he’s just been so enthusiastic.

“When you get a young guy like that, and a Joey Atley coming in and really just performing their roles… it’s quite infectious.”

While Powell-Pepper has emerged as a blue-chip performer, captain Boak has moved from his customary midfield spot to a roaming half-forward role.

“That is the beauty of what Trav has been able to do as a leader,” Ebert said.

Travis Boak finding space. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

“At the start of the year we saw that there was a gap that needed to be filled and Boaky was happy to do that; he has been fantastic in what he has been able to do.”

Ebert also praised the influence of coach Hinkley for altering Port’s game style.

“Kenny has been brilliant with the way that he has coached this year,” he said.

“He is really trusting the group, he is a really good coach and knows how to work with people.

“So for us players, it’s really trying to make sure that we can repay that trust and get the job the done.”

-AAP

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