Port Adelaide Football Club, often referred to as simply Port or the Power, is an Australian rules football club based in Adelaide, South Australia. From its foundation in 1870 to 1996, the club representing Port Adelaide competed in the SANFL as the "Port Adelaide Football Club" over the years from 1870 it had many nicknames. They were known as the Cockledivers, Seaside Men, Seasiders, Mudholians, Dustholians, Magentas before finally settling on Magpies in 1902. In 1997 The Port Adelaide Football Club joined the Australian Football League (AFL). On entry, Port Adelaide adopted a new nickname, Port Power, which was changed to just 'Power' shortly thereafter, and added two more colours (silver and teal) in a requirement to differentiate itself from an existing AFL club, the Collingwood Football Club. During its time in the SANFL, Port Adelaide established itself as the most dominant club in the competition by winning 34 senior premierships. Since joining the AFL Port have added to their Premiership haul by adding another premiership, thereby bringing the total premierships attained by the PAFC to 35 , 1 AFL and 34 SANFL.
The Port Adelaide Football Club was established on 13 May 1870 with a meeting between President John Hart Jnr, Captain John Hart, Secretary, R.W.J Leicester and treasurer, George Ireland. R.W.J Leicster and John Rann are acknowledged as the founders of the club. The club played its first match against a team called the 'Young Australians' on 24 May 1870 at Buck's Flat, a property owned by President Hart in Glanville, South Australia. Football in South Australia at this stage was rather unorganised and there were several sets of rules in use across the state.
In 1877 however, Port Adelaide joined seven other local clubs and formed the South Australian Football Association, the first organisation of its type in Australia. It competed its first few seasons of competition wearing a rose pink outfit with white knickerbockers. The club initially enjoyed modest success and did not win a premiership until 1884. By this time, the strip had changed to magenta with navy knickerbockers. In 1880, the club moved from Glanville Park Oval to Alberton Oval which, except for the 1975 and 1976 seasons, has been its base ever since. Port Adelaide's humble results continued before a second premiership in 1890. It was in this season that Port Adelaide was crowned 'Champions of Australia' for the first time after they defeated VFA premier, South Melbourne.
The 1890s were grim economic times for Port Adelaide's working class base and many players were forced to move interstate to find work. This transferred into poor results on the field. In 1896, with the club in crisis, the club committee met with the aim of revitalising the spirit and instilling a new sense of pride in the Port Adelaide Football Club. It had immediate results and in 1897, Port Adelaide returned to the winners list with a third premiership. Stan Malin won Port Adelaide's first Magarey Medal in 1899. Port finished bottom in a six-team competition in 1900, it has not finished bottom since.
In 1903, Port Adelaide took to the field in the famous black and white for the first time as they were having trouble finding the appropriate dye for its magenta guernseys. The club was now being referred to as 'the Magpies' and the Port Adelaide Football Club was taking a more familiar look. Something which was also becoming familiar was winning premierships with success in 1903, 1906, 1910, 1913 and 1914. Port Adelaide also added to its 'Champions of Australia' title in 1890 with victories in 1910, 1913 and 1914. From June 21 1913 to July 31, 1915 the club was undefeated in 30 games including the 1914 season in which Port achieved the rare distinction of going through the entire season without losing a match. 1914 also saw Port hold North Adelaide to a record low Grand Final of 1.8 (14) to Port's 13.15 (93). At the end of the year the SAFA put together a combined team from all other SAFA clubs to take on the Magpies and Port won again. The SAFA competition was suspended from 1916–1918 because of World War I.
Port Adelaide's pre-war success did not continue post war and from 1919 to 1935, the club recorded only two premiership successes in 1921 and 1928. The depression of the early 1930s hit the club hard with several of its better players moving interstate to secure employment. However, by late 1930s, the economy was on the improve and so was Port Adelaide's form. They netted three premierships in four years with titles in 1936, 1937 and 1939. Just as in 1914, Port Adelaide had hit the peak of their form in the lead up to war, and, just as with World War One, the club was hit hard by players losses to World War Two. From 1942 to 1944, Port Adelaide merged with nearby West Torrens Football Club and the combined side picked up one premiership in this time. Port Adelaide struggled to regain its pre-war momentum once competition resumed in 1945 and played in only one grand final for the rest of the 1940s.
This era introduced Magpies fans to players the likes of John Cahill, Peter Woite, Dave Boyd, Geof Motley and Russell Ebert. However, the club failed to win a premiership over the period 1966–1976. Port, and Fos Williams, were frustrated particularly by the dominance of Sturt, which captured seven titles over this period with its run-on game under the leadership of Jack Oatey.
Off-field, a dispute between the Port Adelaide City Council and the SANFL forced the Magpies to move to Adelaide Oval for two seasons from 1975 to 1976. This dispute was eventually solved and the Magpies moved back to Alberton in 1977.
Cahill left the SANFL Magpies in 1983 to coach the VFL Magpies, Collingwood, for two seasons. This saw Port Adelaide fall back to the field somewhat and would not win another premiership until 1988.
Meanwhile, the 1980s marked the rise and rise of the VFL as the premier football competition in the country. SANFL players were flowing across the border to Victoria in search of the large salaries on offer.
The SANFL had been unwilling to entertain the thought of a South Australian side in the VFL. In 1990, the Port Adelaide Football Club, frustrated at the SANFL's lack of action and looking to secure its own future, formally applied to enter what had now become the AFL. The AFL signed a Heads of Agreement with the club in expectation that Port would enter the competition in 1991. What ensued was one of the most bitter episodes in South Australian football history that split the state, the fault lines of which are still evident today. Furious at what it perceived to be treacherous behaviour by Port Adelaide, the SANFL put forward a counter bid to enter a composite South Australian side into the AFL. After legal action from all parties, the AFL finally agreed to accept the SANFL's bid and the Adelaide Football Club was born. Ultimately, Port Adelaide could not compete against the SANFL's ownership of infrastructure and the support of the nine other clubs in South Australia.
The fallout from this failed bid was disastrous with some even calling for Port Adelaide to be expelled from the SANFL. However, Port Adelaide continued to compete and continued to dominate. The Magpies followed their triple triumphs from 1988 to 1990 with a premiership in 1992 and three in a row again from 1994 to 1996. This equated to seven premierships in nine seasons.
But the anger from the failed AFL bid continued to simmer below the surface. In 1994, the AFL announced it would award a second AFL licence to a South Australian club. Port Adelaide seemed the obvious choice but this did not stop other clubs putting their case forward. The strongest threat came from a combined Norwood-Sturt bid. After much deliberation, the AFL awarded Port Adelaide the second licence and after years of delays, Port was set to enter the premier competition in Australia.
However a licence did not guarantee entry and although a target year of 1996 was set, this was reliant on an existing AFL club folding or merging with another. In 1996, cash-strapped Fitzroy announced it would merge with Brisbane Bears to form Brisbane Lions. A spot had finally opened and it was announced that in 1997, one year later than expected, Port Adelaide would enter the AFL.
Because Collingwood, an existing AFL team, played in black and white stripes and were nicknamed the Magpies, it was incumbent on Port Adelaide to find new colours and a new nickname to avoid a clash. In 1995, a new guernsey - jumper was created with the look unveiled made up of Black, White, Silver and Teal which represents the water of the Port River. The logo consisted of three strips, reflecting the colours.
Once an entry date had been confirmed, the Port Adelaide Football Club set about forming a side fit for competition in the AFL. It was announced that existing Magpies coach, John Cahill would make the transition to the AFL. Cahill then set about forming a group which would form the inaugural squad. Brownlow medallist and former Magpie, Gavin Wanganeen was poached from Essendon and made captain of a team made up of existing Magpies players, players from other SANFL clubs and some recruits from interstate.
The 1998 season was looking very similar to the 1997 as they hovered around ninth position for most of the year and looked like a threat for finals after Round 14, but after that they lost six of their last eight games including defeats of over nine goals to North Melbourne, Adelaide and Carlton. The Power finished the 1998 season in 10th place, with a record of 9 wins, 12 losses and 1 draw.
Port Adelaide had a very successful 2001 season, starting with a maiden pre-season competition victory, defeating the Brisbane Lions 17.9 (111) to 3.8 (26) with Adam Kingsley awarded the Michael Tuck Medal as best afield. They became the first non-Melbourne based club to win the pre season premiership and the first club to win both Showdown's in the same year, defeating The Crows by 65 and eight points respectively. The Power finished their 2001 home and away season with 16 wins and 6 losses, finishing 3rd on the ladder and qualifying for the finals series. The club travelled to Brisbane for the Qualifying Final, losing by 32 points. They had however earned themselves a second chance by finishing third and had a home Semi Final against the team who had finish 6th, Hawthorn. Port led by 17 points going into the last quarter but failed to convert and lost by three points.
Qualifying for the finals series, they were upset in the Qualifying Final by Collingwood 108-95, but won their second match over Essendon 83-59 to qualify for the preliminary finals before losing to the eventual Grand Final winners the Brisbane Lions 138-82.
|2004 Toyota AFL Grand Final||G||B||Total|
|Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground||Crowd: 77,671|
After going down to Collingwood by two points in Round 20 at home, the Power faced the highly-fancied, premiership favoured, but injury-decimated arch-rival Adelaide in Round 21 in Showdown XXI. Adelaide dominated early proceedings, but kept Port Adelaide in the game with their wasteful kicking for goal, with 3.8, and two shots out on the full. The Power youngsters took advantage and fought hard for a 14-point victory, ending the recent Crows winning streak over them and giving their supporters great hope that another premiership was not too far away. Chad Cornes was named Showdown Medallist as best-on-ground in the game.
2006 was seen as a very important year for the Power, as the new guard had begun to show that they are capable of great things and are working towards playing final again in 2007. The Power had a club record number of nominations for the AFL Rising Star award in 2006, and provided the winner in Danyle Pearce. In the Brownlow Medal count, the Power's best outpolled the favourites from cross-town nemesis Adelaide. 2006 Best and Fairest Brendon Lade and midfielder Shaun Burgoyne each scored 15 votes, whilst NAB Rising Star Danyle Pearce took thirteen - with Port Adelaide finishing the count with 67 votes - one of the top eight clubs for the night. With 2006 being a fairly disappointing year all up, 6 of the clubs 8 wins that year were to teams that finished in the top 8 in 2006, including the beltings they gave to reigning premiers Sydney and future premiers of that year West Coast.
Many players enjoyed great starts to the season, including Ex-Richmond Tigers player David Rodan, who performed solidly in his first game against his former club, continuing his impressive career revival at the Power. Also, explosive midfielder Shaun Burgoyne was an early contender to win the Brownlow Medal, while Chad Cornes' was also in the hunt. Slightly built speedster Nathan Krakouer, nephew of the legendary North Melbourne brothers Jimmy Krakouer and Phil Krakouer, also showed plenty of raw talent and exciting glimpses of his potential.
Round 8 saw Port incur a 31 point defeat at the hands of last year's grand finalists Sydney at the SCG. Half way through the 4th quarter, the Power cut the gap to just 19 points, but Sydney answered with another 2 goals and effectively sealed the match. The Power's best midfielders were negated, and although it won the first possessions and the clearances, Port didn't do enough with them. With their second loss of the season, the Power slipped back to 2nd position on the ladder behind the Eagles.
The Power incurred further losses in Rounds 9, 10 and 11, to Geelong, Hawthorn and Carlton respectively, leaving it reeling with 4 consecutive losses. However in its Round 12 match against Essendon, Port Adelaide had a confidence-boosting win (126 to 95), returning to its traditional attacking style of game, in Warren Tredrea’s 200th game for the power, who scored 4 goals in the match.Robert Gray also booted 4 goals for the Power, in just his third match
Round 15 saw the Power trashing the premiers West Coast by 91 points, their biggest win that year. Chad Cornes, Justin Westhoff and Daniel Motlop kicked 4 goals apiece and Kane Cornes restricted Chris Judd to just 11 disposals while getting 35 disposals himself.
Finishing second and going into the finals as a strong chance to win the premiership, Port Adelaide looked ominous, defeating the Kangaroos comfortably in the preliminary final, who bowed to the pressures of finals football, with Port 'goose-stepping' their way into the Grand Final against the Cats. In the lead up to the Grand Final, Port coach Mark Williams said he was confident the team would do well against the all-conquering Cats, believing all the pressure was on the flag favourites. As a result, Port Adelaide were never in the contest, losing by 119 points in the most one-sided Grand Final in VFL/AFL history.
Heritage-Themed Round: The 2006 controversy concerning the AFL's refusal to permit Port to wear its traditional black-and-white "prison bar" guernsey in the heritage-themed rounds continued in 2007. Earlier in the year, Power chief executive John James said the club was waiting for confirmation from the AFL that it could wear its 1970s prison bar guernsey for the match against the Western Bulldogs. He said Port was also looking for confirmation it would be able to continue to honour its heritage in any future heritage rounds. Port Adelaide wore black-and-white in the SANFL from 1902 until adding teal and silver to its colours when it joined the AFL in 1997 to avoid a clash with Collingwood. Port Adelaide decided not to participate in the 2006 heritage round when the AFL did not approve the club’s 1980s-style black-and-white guernsey for its 80s themed heritage round. Collingwood club president Eddie McGuire has been a vocal opponent of Port wearing the prison bar guernsey, claiming that Collingwood has an exclusive right to wear black and white in the AFL, even in the heritage round. John James stated that the Power possibly received more correspondence from its supporters about the heritage guernsey than about any other issue and that the club would “continue to fight for its heritage and what is right”. On 14 May 2007 the AFL and Port reached an agreement whereby Port can wear its prison bar guernsey in the heritage round this season, with the proviso that in future seasons its players can only wear it in home heritage round games and provided that such a game is not against Collingwood.
Some former players also criticized wearing the heritage guernsey and called for the club to distance itself from its previous history in order to attract a wider fan base. Roger James says he had always viewed the Power as a new club "I understand Port's background but as far as I'm concerned the Power was started from scratch, has only been in the (AFL) competition for 11 years and was made up of players from every SANFL club, to me, its heritage goes back to 1997 and that's why I question the decision to wear a Magpies jumper." Josh Francou commented that "It's time to move on, I can understand Port wanting to recognise its history but there is still a stigma attached with the Port Magpies in that if you don't like them you absolutely hate them and I think Port - while still being respectful of its heritage - has to move away from that."
Port Adelaide started their finals campaign against the West Coast Eagles at AAMI Stadium and won a tight contest by 3 points. The final score was 9.14(68) vs 9.11(65).That win meant that Port received the week off, their next game would be the Preliminary final against the Kangaroos, who defeated Hawthorn in the Semi-finals. After a tight opening quarter, Port defeated the Kangaroos to win by 87 points, 20.13(133) vs 5.16(46). This win ensured Port of a grand final berth, their second in four years. In the Grand Final they were defeated by Geelong by a AFL record margin of 119 points, 24.19 (163) to 6.8 (44).
|Year||Position||President||Coach||Captain||Best and Fairest||Leading Goalkicker|
|1878||3||J.Hart (jnr)||W.Fletcher||W.Fletcher||T.G.Smith||E.LeMessurier/ J.Carter|
|1888||2||J.Formby||Harry Phillips||Harry Phillips||24|
|1900||6||W.Fisher||Harry Phillips||Jack Quinn|
|1905||2||W.E.Mattinson||Jack Quinn||Jack Quinn|
|Year||Position||President||Coach||Captain||Best and Fairest||Leading Goalkicker (Total)|
|1997||9||Greg Boulton||John Cahill||Gavin Wanganeen||Darren Mead||Scott Cummings (70)|
|1998||10||Greg Boulton||John Cahill||Gavin Wanganeen||Adam Kingsley||Warren Tredrea (33)|
|1999||7||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Gavin Wanganeen||Stephen Paxman||Warren Tredrea (40)|
|2000||14||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Gavin Wanganeen||Brett Montgomery||Warren Tredrea (32)|
|2001||5||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Matthew Primus||Warren Tredrea||Warren Tredrea (51)|
|2002||3||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Matthew Primus||Matthew Primus||Stuart Dew (51)|
|2003||4||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Matthew Primus||Gavin Wanganeen||Warren Tredrea (58)|
|2004||1||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Matthew Primus||Warren Tredrea||Warren Tredrea (81)|
|2005||6||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Warren Tredrea||Warren Tredrea||Warren Tredrea (65)|
|2006||12||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Warren Tredrea||Brendon Lade||Josh Mahoney (29)|
|2007||2||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Warren Tredrea||Kane Cornes||Brett Ebert (56)|
|2008||13||Greg Boulton||Mark M. Williams||Warren Tredrea||Kane Cornes||Daniel Motlop (57)|
AFL Premierships (1)
AFL Grand Finalists (2)
AFL Minor Premiership (3)
2002, 2003, 2004
SANFL premierships (34, record)
1884, 1890, 1897, 1903, 1906, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1921, 1928, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996. (Note that the 1998 and 1999 SANFL premierships were not won by the Port Adelaide Football club, but by the Port Adelaide Magpies.)
SANFL Stanley H. Lewis Memorial Trophy (11, record)
1962, 1963, 1964, 1970, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994
Champions of Australia (4, record)
1890, 1910, 1913, 1914
AFL McClelland Trophy (3)
2002, 2003, 2004
AFL pre-season competition (2)
See also International Rules Series
Port Adelaide’s history is so rich, so deep that naming its Team of the 20th century would have short-changed the pioneers from the club’s first 30 years.
So Port Adelaide in June 2001 announced its Greatest Team (1870-2000) from two centuries. And as the club, either as the original blue-and-white Ports of Buck’s Flat in 1870 or as the Magpies, has achieved unparalleled success in Australian football, it is hailed as the “Greatest Team of the Greatest Club”.
All 22 members of the all-time greatest Port Adelaide team played significant parts in ensuring the club’s rise from the SANFL to the AFL in 1997 - and the demand of the SA Football Commission that a Magpies team be kept in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).
There are 201 premiership medals held by the 22 players in the Greatest Team; 532 State games; 16 Magarey Medal and a long list of football accolades and achievements that allow Port Adelaide to have the greatest of the celebratory teams picked with the turn of the century.
Coach: Fos Williams.
AFL - 29.14 (188) v Hawthorn, Round 13, 2005 AAMI Stadium, Adelaide
AFL - 4.8 (32) v Richmond 3.12 (30), Round 11, 1999 AAMI Stadium, Adelaide
Greatest Winning Margin
AFL - 117 points v Hawthorn, Round 13, 2005 AAMI Stadium, Adelaide
AFL - 205 - Warren Tredrea (1997–present (Round 21, 2007))
SANFL - 392 - Russell Ebert (1968–1978 & 1980–1985)
AFL - 451 - Warren Tredrea (1997–present (Round 21, 2007)
SANFL - 1044 - Tim Evans (1975–1986)
Longest winning streak against any club
Most number of goals in a match
AFL - 8 goals Warren Tredrea (Rnd 7, 1998. Port Adelaide vs Carlton)
|Year||Members||End of Minor Round||Finishing Position1||Average Crowd|
Season 2008 Power Membership as at 8 July 2008 is 34,185
A guernsey designed by an 11 year old indigenous student from Waikerie Primary School was worn by the Power players in the Season 2007, Round 7 match against Richmond. The guernsey was the winning design in a competition which asked primary school children to design a Power guernsey, run in conjunction with the Come Out Youth Arts Festival, a long-running festival that involves young people throughout South Australia. It is believed to be a sporting first.
In October 2007, it was announced that Bianco Building Supplies will replace foundation partner Scott's Transport as a joint major sponsor of the club. As of 2008, Bianco signage will appear on the front of the club's home guernsey, and on the back of the 'clash' guernsey. Vodafone will continue its joint major sponsorship of the club, and will continue to appear on playing jumpers and merchandise.
The Club also has home game entertainment in the form of The Power Funk Squad, an energetic young dance team who were introduced in Season 2006, The Power 22, which are 22 of the Planet Teal child members who run around the boundary and cheer the Power players onto the field, the NAB Supporter of the Week, who encourages vocal crowd support, and a float known as Thunda Bolt.