Port still an AFL finals chance: Thomas

Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas believes his AFL club’s playing list is still worthy of being considered as a top-four contender.

And Thomas says the Power are still in the hunt for a finals berth despite being in ninth spot, two wins outside the top eight with eight games remaining.

Thomas concedes injuries have challenged Port this season but says the playing list won’t need an overhaul at season’s end.

“It’s not an overhaul,” Thomas told reporters on Monday.

“We like a lot of what we’re doing and we are certainly believe that this year is well and truly alive so we haven’t given up on this year at all.

“But the important thing is you have got to keep building on the things that you learn.

“And whilst it’s frustrating at times, it’s not an exact science, it’s not easy to win and not easy to win this competition – our club needs to keep building on those lessons we have learnt in the last couple of years and I think we are doing that.”

Asked if Port’s list still had top four or top six credentials, Thomas replied: “We have that sort of a list.

“Clearly our depth has been challenged this year.

“If you have a look at the sort of injuries we have had, we have had a big part of our backline dismantled … but I think the backline has held up really, really well.

“Our forward line is quite young, we had a new entry in Charlie (Dixon) and we are still working our way though that.”

Thomas pinpointed Port’s midfield as problematic this season due to the suspension of ex-Essendon ruckman Paddy Ryder and a knee injury to fellow ruck Matthew Lobbe.

“Clearly the loss of Ryder and then Matthew Lobbe at the start of the year just changed our thinking in regards to what we needed to do in there,” he said.

“And it has probably taken us a little longer than we would have liked to get that exactly right.

“But I reckon the last five or six weeks we have seen a lot of significantly better efforts through there and we are starting to hold our own.

“So my view is a full list at Port Adelaide is highly competitive against everyone in the competition.”

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