AFL 2 years ago

Jimmy Toumpas: Flying under the radar

  • Jimmy Toumpas: Flying under the radar

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Jimmy Toumpas kicks for goal during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session at Gosch's Paddock on March 12, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

At the end of the trade period for Port Adelaide most the focus seemed to be on the acquisition of Charlie Dixon from the Gold Coast Suns.  A goal kicking forward who will have a vital role to play if Port Adelaide is to force their way back into the finals after a disappointing 2015 campaign. This trade has become even more important after the 12 month suspension to Paddy Ryder who will miss the entire 2016 season. But Jimmy Toumpas was also traded in and is a player Port Adelaide has identified that can play an important role in 2016. Despite minimal fanfare the ex-Demon seems to be going about his business in ensuring the move to Port Adelaide is a successful one.

Things did not go according to plan for Toumpas at Melbourne, playing only 27 games in 3 seasons due to a mixture of injury and form issues.  Toumpas was drafted with pick 4 by the Demons in the 2012 draft. The simplistic view is when you have such a high pick is you should be getting a star player. Toumpas is not the only player who has been drafted to Melbourne in recent seasons and failed to develop as expected, a long list of top picks have failed to make the grade at the Demons.

Early reports are Toumpas is settling in well at Alberton and has been impressive on the track since his arrival. Some pundits had questioned his work ethic while at Melbourne but Toumpas certainly seems to be working hard to ensure his talent is utilized, including extra training sessions when he first joined the club in a bid to improve his fitness.  Toumpas has been given the number 18 guernsey as made famous by Kane Cornes and Cornes had no hesitation in handing over the famous number to Toumpas and declaring Toumpas will be a player to watch in 2016.

Port Adelaide certainly had a bad run with injury last season to some of their outside players. Jared Polec and Matt White both missing large chunks of the 2015 season. The addition of Toumpas gives Port Adelaide more depth in this area and in recent seasons Port Adelaide has had a very good record with players traded in from other clubs.

The big test will be when the season starts but Toumpas is doing everything in his power to be given an opportunity during the NAB challenge games and to push for round 1 selection. Toumpas will be hoping to recapture the form that made him one of the most sought after players in the 2012 draft.  It was only in 2011 that Jimmy Toumpas was a premiership player at Woodville West-Torrens as a 17 year old. Still only 22, his best football should be ahead of him.

 In essence Port Adelaide gave up little to obtain Toumpas. Picks 29, 50, 68 traded out with Toumpas and pick 32 coming back the other way.  The trade might just end up being a bargain for Port Adelaide as Toumpas looks to resurrect his AFL career and maybe prove a few doubters wrong along the way.

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