Wines fortifies Port in AFL

Ollie Wines has signed a two-year AFL contract extension, capping the collective show of faith from key Port Adelaide players.

The 21-year-old was the last big name that the Power were hoping to re-sign ahead of this season.

It commits Wines to Port until at least the end of 2018 and ends speculation he might consider a return home to Victoria later this year.

Captain Travis Boak, Hamish Hartlett, Robbie Gray and, most recently, Chad Wingard have also re-signed since the end of last year’s disappointing season.

The Power dropped out of the top eight, but are bullish about their 2016 prospects.

“I love this footy club, my teammates, coaches, and our fans and I’m very happy to be continuing my career here at Port Adelaide,” Wines said in a club statement.

“Now just feels like the right time to re-commit to the club as I didn’t want our members thinking I might leave this year, when that wasn’t part of the plan.”

Wines joined Port with pick No.7 in the 2012 draft, shortly after coach Ken Hinkley took over.

The club was mired in crisis at the time and they have been significant figures in Port’s on-field resurgence.

“I’ve loved every moment here so far,” Wines said.

“Now I’m really looking forward to being part of some more special moments over the coming years with my teammates and the Port Adelaide family.”

As recently as the club’s January 29 annual general meeting, Hinkley was reassuring Port fans about Wines’ future.

“I know he has put a great deal of thought and reflection into this decision – that’s his style,” Hinkley said on Wednesday.

“But we were always confident he would put pen to paper.”

Wines has played 62 games since his 2013 senior debut.

He was the youngest Port player to reach 50 games and is already in the Power’s leadership group.

Wines is one of the league’s top inside midfielders, but he was restricted to only 13 games last season because of wrist and shoulder injuries.

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