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Season 2017 is shaping up as a vital year for everyone at Port Adelaide. While the Power needs to play finals football after two underwhelming years the pressure will certainly be on Jimmy Toumpas who will be out of contract at the end of the 2017 season. After an underwhelming first year at Alberton can Toumpas have more of an impact next year and resurrect his AFL career?
The 22 year old has had to deal with a high level of pressure his entire AFL career to date. A certain level of pressure is always placed on an early draftee and Melbourne drafted Toumpas with pick four at the 2012 National Draft. It is well documented things did not go well at the Demons for a variety of reasons and the midfielder made the move to Port Adelaide at the end of 2015 after playing 27 games in three years at Melbourne.
The move to Alberton certainly highlights how quickly a reputation can be damaged in the AFL. Port Adelaide in essence only giving up pick 29 to get Toumpas and pick 32 in return during last year’s trade period.
The South Australian never seemed to have any consistency of games at AFL level last year. Averaging 16.6 disposals per game it was the highest of his career to date but he only played 8 AFL games in total for the year. The performances for the most part were underwhelming. A lack of leg speed and critical turnovers unfortunately a regular pattern.
At times the 22 year old did play some good football back at SANFL level with the Port Magpies and it was hoped this would give Toumpas some confidence at AFL level but it never seemed to materialise. After playing six consecutive games between rounds 2- 7 he would only play another 2 AFL games for the rest of the season.
The pre-season will be vitally important for everyone at Alberton and Toumpas in particular will have a lot of work to do if he is to become a regular in the Power side next year. From an age perspective he should still have his best football ahead of him but he cannot afford the same output as 2016 or he will be in trouble retaining his spot on the list. Can Jimmy Toumpas resurrect his career and prove the doubters wrong in 2017?