Port Adelaide’s challenge to replace injured top-end talent has grown with key defender Alipate Carlile to miss Friday night’s AFL match against Essendon.
Carlile will miss up to six weeks because of a broken wrist and joins Chad Wingard (hamstring), Hamish Hartlett (hamstring) and Jay Schulz (back) on the sidelines for the Adelaide Oval encounter.
Carlile was scratched on Thursday, robbing Port of their first-choice match-up for Essendon’s emerging forward Joe Daniher.
The task of containing Daniher, who produced a game-breaking 15-mark display in the Bombers’ win against Melbourne last week, will now likely fall to Jackson Trengove.
“He will cause some worry for us, there is no doubt about that, but the supply of the ball to Joe is probably equally important as Joe himself,” Power coach Ken Hinkley said.
Port have seven top-liners unavailable – Matt White will miss three months with a torn pectoral muscle and has been put on the long-term injured list, while former Essendon players Paddy Ryder and Angus Monfries are suspended for the season.
“You don’t often have to replace top-end talent all at once but that is the challenge we have got this week,” Hinkley said.
“That is the challenges of an AFL season, you don’t always have them all available at any one time.
“Every side at some point will go through some challenging times with personnel. For us, the depth of the squad is what we have got to rely on … it’s the collective that need to stand up together.”
Hinkley was wary of Essendon, believing “they’re not as far away as everyone thinks they are”.
“People forget that some of the top-up players they have brought in have got a significant amount of experience and they prove very handy when you get in tight, close situations,” he said.
“The Crowleys, Stokes’, Kellys, those types of players have all played a lot of football and are helping a young group come together.
“They’re a pretty talented side when they get it on their terms and the way they want to play the game of football.”