Drafted with pick 12 in the 2018 draft it has not taken long for the highly rated Zak Butters to make his mark at Port Adelaide.
Not short of confidence, the 18 year-old has impressed all at Alberton. With his work rate and desire over the pre-season, he was a strong contributor during the JLT series.
The Victorian deserved his opportunity in round one and made his AFL debut along with Willem Drew, Xavier Duursma and Connor Rozee.
New look Port Adelaide
The unfancied Port Adelaide defeated Melbourne by 26 points in a round one boilover. Zak Butters played an important role with 13 disposals and two goals.
With the blowtorch on the Power after a disastrous 2018 season and eventful off-season, it is certainly understandable why the win meant so much to Ken Hinkley.
“Personally, perhaps, ’13 may have been pretty satisfying because it took a long time to get an opportunity. But there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind, this is the best win I’ve been involved with Port Adelaide, including finals.”
Only the beginning for Zak
In 2018 Zak Butters averaged 20 disposals at TAC level before his season was cut short. He had to undergo shoulder surgery at the conclusion of the National Championships.
Despite injury in his draft year, this did not deter Port Adelaide who were more than happy to use an early pick on a player they rated extremely highly.
The transition to senior level has been swift. The 18 year-old was delighted after making the most of his debut against the Demons.
“It’s an unreal feeling — childhood dream come true today. Pre-season we all put our heads down and worked really hard. As a group we worked on connection and to really get to know each other as players and people off the field, and that social side. I think that showed on the field today.”
Butters has already become somewhat of a cult hero. Simply for sharing the same name as the popular South Park character.
Most significantly however, Zac Butters plays a brand of football that has endeared himself to the Port faithful. Hopefully round one is just a taste of things to come.