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Make no mistake about it Ollie Wines is one of the most important players at Port Adelaide. Many pundits feel Wines will potentially be the next captain of the club after Travis Boak and Wines is currently in the leadership group so he is highly rated at Alberton. It is easy to forget sometimes that Ollie Wines is still only 21 years of age and only played 79 AFL games. Certainly Wines possesses a physique that makes you think he is a 10 year AFL veteran when the reality is he is still in the early stages of his AFL journey. So where do the performances of Ollie Wines rate so far in 2016?
In a season of inconsistency for many players at Port Adelaide Wines can be pleased with many aspects of his season. His pre-season haircut however is certainly not one of them. After missing 10 games last year with a wrist and shoulder injury Wines has appeared to show no ill-effects from this and played all 17 games so far in 2016. There would have been some concern coming back from shoulder surgery but Wines has played with the same tenacity and aggression the fans have become accustomed to since Wines burst onto the AFL scene in 2013.
The major strength of Ollie Wines is winning contested ball and his clearance work. Wines is currently ranked 12th in the AFL for contested possession and 12th for clearances making Wines one of the most important players for Port Adelaide around stoppages. Currently averaging 24.9 disposals per match Wines is ranked only behind Robbie Gray at Port Adelaide for disposals.
What is a concern for Ollie Wines and many of his teammate is disposal efficiency. The ability to make good decisions and find targets with the ball has been poor all season for Port Adelaide and a key reason they will not be playing finals for a second consecutive season. A clanger is what is used as a measurement through Champion Data to measure turnovers. Ollie Wines has the unfortunate honour of being ranked #1 for clangers in the AFL with 79 to his name.
The disposal efficiency of Wines can certainly be assessed a number of different ways. Wines wins a lot of clearances, is it simply a case of hacking kicks out of packs that happen to be turned over. This has certainly happened on occasion, is this an issue with Wines or an issue with coaching setup and instruction? Does Wines make good decisions when he has the ball? The evidence would suggest this is still a work in progress.
It was certainly hoped the addition of Michael Voss to the coaching ranks as midfield manager who himself was one of the best midfielders in the game would help Wines elevate his game even further. Wines has spoken positively on the influence Voss has had despite the negative views on Voss from many Port fans as Wines continues to evolve. The coaching staff have identified Wines needs to try and get more outside ball and not always rely on winning contested ball. Wines has in the past shown he is capable of impacting the scoreboard and this year has kicked 10 goals but whether he can add this string to his bow more consistently remains to be seen.
There is every chance Ollie Wines will finish the season in the top 5 of the Port Adelaide Best & Fairest which would certainly be a pass mark for the season. For those wine buffs that enjoy a nice glass of wine they will be aware of the many factors that can make a wine improve with age. Many better wines are due to of the region they come from, exposure to light and humidity and how they are harvested and developed. Ideally Ollie Wines is exposed to the right coaching, training and fitness structure to get the best out of him. Can Port Adelaide develop Ollie Wines from a very good player into the elite midfielder they need him to be?