Port’s Pittard doubtful for AFL derby

Port Adelaide defender Jasper Pittard is an unlikely starter in Sunday’s AFL grudge match against Adelaide.

The in-form backman injured an ankle in a training mishap this week, Port’s midfield coach Michael Voss said.

“He’s not ruled out but we’re certainly planning without him at this particular stage,” Voss told reporters on Thursday.

Pittard’s likely absence comes as both Port and the Crows plan to further honour Phil Walsh in the Adelaide Oval fixture.

Adelaide’s coach Walsh, who was formerly a long-time assistant coach at Port, was allegedly murdered by his son on July 3.

The clubs will run through a joint banner before the game and Voss expected emotions to again overflow, saying it was probably the only time in SA football history that the bitter rivals “have alignment”.

“The game this weekend, it might be a chance for some to move forward … the moment where we get to move forward as two football teams,” he said.

“We will get out there on the weekend and bash the bejesus out of one another and then we’ll shake each other’s hand … it’s a pretty significant day.”

While tributes to Walsh will loom large, the result is pivotal for both clubs – Port are in 12th spot on the ladder while the Crows are ninth.

“When we put it in context of where it all sits, it’s a very important game so we’re aware of the consequences of that – both good and bad,” said Voss, the former Brisbane premiership captain and coach.

“There are certain games where I sit back now and I’m quite comfortable behind glass watching the game.

“But there are just some games you like to play in. And I’m sure the first 15 minutes of this game will be a game that you want to play in.

“After that, I’ll be very comfortable in my chair.

“You’d expect there will be emotion and passion from both teams.

“They will play in a very torrid fashion, I’d imagine, with everyone knowing the stakes.”

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