Port Adelaide recruit Sam Skinner has "a point to prove" this season after arriving at Alberton Oval over a year on from his delisting at Brisbane.
Skinner departed Brisbane at the end of 2020 and ventured to South Australia in joining SANFL side South Adelaide following a short training stint with North Melbourne last year.
An impressive campaign with the Panthers was enough to turn the heads of AFL recruiters, namely Port Adelaide.
A shift from forward to defence in 2021 gave Skinner a springboard back into the AFL landscape, having previously plied his trade as a spearhead for the Lions across his five years and three games with the Queensland club.
The 24-year-old is now set to compete for a place in Port Adelaide's star-studded backline, having joined Ken Hinkley's side in November.
The North Ballarat product has been a vocal presence at training this pre-season, with Port Adelaide defensive coach Chad Cornes thrilled by what he has seen from the former Brisbane tall.
"Sam Skinner has come in and he tried some really impressive signs," Cornes said.
"I like that there's that competition within the group. Their training standard is really high. The competition against our forward line has been great and really competitive."
Having overcome three ACL injuries across the course of his young career, Skinner has shown great resilience and determination to continue fighting for games in the top flight.
Cornes added that Skinner has transitioned into his new surroundings with ease, often leading by example in his attitude and known strengths.
"Considering he's only in his second or third month (at the club), the leadership he's shown on the track, how vocal and directive he is during drills has been really impressive to see," Cornes said.
"His intercept marking ability is very high ... Port fans should be pretty excited about a guy like that coming in.
"He's also got to a point to prove. He's really driven. He's had some really unlucky incidents with injury and whatnot, but we're lucky to have him."
The Power are set to deploy Skinner as part of their back third brigade, however a place in Hinkley's best 22 will be hard to come by.
Cornes, who was recently appointed as backline coach at Alberton, revealed a number of incumbents are leaving little room for new faces to break into the side, with competition for spots driving high standards.
"I'm taking over a group that's been really well-coached. They're an experienced group ... they're right up there at the top in the AFL," he said.
"I think there's probably five or six guys that pick themselves at this stage. That doesn't mean there'll be a lock going forward, but right now I think they've deserved the chance to line up in Round 1.
"There's definitely a couple of spots still up for grabs."
Port Adelaide will begin their 2022 AFL season against Brisbane in a trip to the Gabba on Saturday, March 19.