SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Jeremy Finlayson of the Giants celebrates kicking a goal during the round 20 AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Sydney Swans at GIANTS Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos via Getty Images )

The recent injury interruptions to Port Adelaide forwards Charlie Dixon and Orazio Fantasia are sure to have placed some forced replanning on Ken Hinkley's attacking tactics ahead of Round 1.

Fantasia has undergone further assistance on a knee issue that required surgery late last year, however Dixon's latest setback is causing even greater concern for the South Australian club.

The veteran sharpshooter has sustained ligament damage in his ankle after awkwardly landing on a teammate's foot at training last week, prompting early concerns the former Sun could be sidelined come Round 1.


While the pending diagnosis is sure to leave Port Adelaide fans nervous for the weeks ahead, their woes have been combated by their stingy off-season dealings.

The Power remained fairly quiet throughout the exchange window last season, losing ruck-forward Peter Ladhams to Sydney and gaining spearhead Jeremy Finlayson from the Giants.

Finlayson's arrival at Alberton Oval had raised several questions given Hinkley's current key forward stocks of Dixon, Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades, however the trade - for which Port Adelaide gave up a future third-round pick - could be more fruitful than first thought.

Dixon's absence is sure to leave an enlarged hole in the Power's forward 50, one that Finlayson may be able to fill alongside the likes of Marshall and Georgiades.

The 25-year-old booted 90 goals throughout his five seasons in orange and charcoal, having also shared portions of his career in defence.

His versatility is sure to bode well for Hinkley's hopes of securing that elusive premiership, with Finlayson's immediate arrival certainly something to excite Port young gun Connor Rozee.

"Jeremy has been training mostly with the forwards," Rozee told Zero Hanger. 

"He's been really impressive since he got to the club. He's a really down to earth sort of guy and has been massive in our forward line when we've had those three talls down there.

"He's probably going to have to take a different sort of role now with Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades, changing up a little bit and playing a little bit smaller.

"I think that's a massive bonus having him in this year. There were some games last year where we hardly had any talls at all, so being able to be a little bit more flexible will be a massive strength for us going forward."

Having efficiently bolstered their rearguard over 12 months ago with the addition of Aliir Aliir from the Swans, the Power will be hoping Finlayson can have the same impact in 2022.

The likes of Rozee, Zak Butters, Miles Bergman and Xavier Duursma will also be looking to step into voids opened by Fantasia's absence, should he remain sidelined for the Power's opening match of the season against Brisbane in mid-March.

Rozee has flagged an expectation of gaining greater exposure in midfield this year, however is ready to have his skills equally balanced between the centre and in attack.