In 2015 Angus Monfries found himself dropped back to the SANFL for the first time in his three years at Port Adelaide. Truth be told, Monfries was lucky the decision to drop him was not made earlier as he struggled for form and consistency. Five goals in a stretch of seven games along with minimal impact around the ground saw the decision to drop Monfries finally made. But Monfries was back in the side quickly an arguably his best games for the season took place in round 20 and 21 kicking three goals against GWS and Hawthorn. So what Angus Monfries will Port Adelaide get in 2016?
The year is an important one for Monfries personally as he will be out of contract at season’s end. You would suspect Monfries certainly is in no danger of being delisted next year, but at 29 years of age Gus will need to have a good year to warrant anything more than a one year deal.
It has been discussed previously; the small forward role is a difficult one to play at AFL level. Jake Neade was another player who found himself out of the AFL side at different times last year. While the small forward role will often mean putting pressure on the opposition and often spending time up the ground, impacting the scoreboard is still of significant importance. The 39 goals kicked in 2013 is the highest return Angus Monfries has had in his AFL career, Port Adelaide would love a similar return next year.
It cannot be dismissed the difficulties Angus Monfries had to endure at the beginning of last season. As an ex Essendon player Monfries is still having to deal with the supplement saga, the gift that keeps giving. As a result Monfries was unable to play in any of the NAB Pre-season games which put him on the back foot right away leading into the season proper. Ideally there will be no such problem leading into round 1, 2016.
Whether there is a place for both Angus Monfries and Jake Neade is debatable, especially with Robbie Gray also having the ability to spend time forward. With the strength of the Port Adelaide midfield there is not really a position there for Angus Monfries, it is really forward line or nothing. The whole club had a disappointing 2015, Angus Monfries will be one of many looking to make amends.