The Rocky Road to finals

Tom Rockliff
29 Sep, 2020 by Liam Sheedy

Tom Rockliff has played 204 games of AFL football since making his AFL debut in round 18, 2009.

11 years later and at his second club the midfielder will amazingly play in his first ever AFL final when Port Adelaide host Geelong this Thursday in the qualifying final.

The veteran was not in the best of form earlier in the year and was dropped for the round six clash with GWS. But since returning to the senior side the former Lion has been a significant contributor.

At his best a prolific ball winner and clearance king, the 30-year-old has amassed 30 disposals or more in the last three games. The first time Rockliff has done so in his three years at Port.

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As the Power clinched top position at the end of the minor round with a hard fought 16-point victory over Collingwood last week, it was Tom Rockliff who was one of the key performers that helped engineer the win.

Gathering 30 disposals, 10 clearances, 3 score involvements and kicking a goal. The dominant display was reflected in the Coaches Award voting with Rockliff adjudged the second-best player on the field.

Foreign territory for Tom Rockliff

Individually Tom Rockliff has plenty of personal accolades to his name. At Brisbane, the midfielder was club captain, 2x Best & Fairest winner and an All-Australian in 2014.

When the Victorian made the move to Alberton at the end of 2017 as a restricted free agent, the Power were thought by many pundits to be in the Premiership window.

The midfielder said as much when he joined the club on a 4 year-deal.

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“Obviously it is a very good football club. Port Adelaide has so much history and I think they’re very close to success and hopefully I can fit into that and drive for September action.”

The journey to success has not quite gone according to plan thus far. And team success has evaded both Port and Rockliff in recent years.

Both will be hoping 2020 is the season that bucks the trend. A fit and inform Tom Rockliff has an important role to play as the Power chase premiership glory.

 

by Liam Sheedycontributor
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