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Port Adelaide has declared skipper Travis Boak unavailable for the clash this week with the Brisbane Lions after suffering a hamstring injury against the Blues last Friday. His absence opens the door for vice-captain Ollie Wines to take charge as skipper for Saturday’s clash.
In doing so Wines will become the youngest captain at Port Adelaide since Warren Tredrea deputised for the injured Matthew Primus in 2001. The Victorian is certainly excited by the opportunity but the added title and responsibility won’t change too much with the midfielder currently in career best form. “I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing and I’ve got plenty of support around me from some seasoned leaders and coaches to help me out”
Last season an open and honest chat with Ken Hinkley was one of the catalysts for the improved form from the midfielder late in the 2016 season. This form has certainly carried into 2017 with Wines currently averaging 29.6 disposals, five tackles and a goal per match to be leading the AFLCA Champion Player of the year award.
One of the most significant improvements has been disposal efficiency. Last year Wines averaged 4.6 turnovers per match which is down in 2017 to 3.8 per match. This is also more impressive when you consider the midfielder is getting more of the ball. Currently averaging 21.6 effective disposals per match in 2017 compared to 15.6 last season.
Many pundits believe Ollie Wines is the heir apparent to take over the captaincy at Port Adelaide from Travis Boak in the foreseeable future and this Saturday we get a glimpse into the future as the 22 year old leads the Power in a must-win match to keep the momentum rolling from last week’s demolition of Carlton.
Midfield Manager Michael Voss one of the great AFL captains and a former 3x premiership captain has no doubt Wines is ready for the job “He's had a great month, Ollie, he seems to be stepping his game up to the next level. The great thing about Ollie is he has such a great temperament, I don't think he will treat it any differently”
Port Adelaide hope that Travis Boak will only miss the one game and will be available to take on West Coast next week. In the meantime Ollie Wines gets the opportunity to not only continue his transition into one of the elite midfielders of the competition but also stake his claim to be the next captain of Port Adelaide.