After missing out on a trade back to South Australia at the end of 2019, Orazio Fantasia finally made his way to Alberton during the 2020 Trade Period.
When it was revealed the 25-year-old was keen on a move to Port Adelaide, the reaction from Power fans was mixed.
Not because the dynamic forward is not a talented player. But concerns on what Essendon list boss Adrian Dodoro was reportedly seeking in a trade.
Adrian Dodoro’s asking price for Orazio Fantasia, per @tommorris32
-Zak Butters pic.twitter.com/zIyALcn1Lr
— 7AFL (@7AFL) November 3, 2020
Return to home state
It was left late but eventually a deal was finalised for the small forward to return to his home state after 80 games and 111 goals for Essendon.
The final trade terms were much different to what some in the media had forecast.
Fantasia and pick 73 to the Power with the Bombers receiving Port Adelaide’s second-round pick and a future third-round selection in return.
Injury was a potential question mark around Orazio Fantasia and perhaps another factor as to why the excitement from some fans towards the new acquisition was mild.
In 2019 Fantasia played 15 games and was restricted to just five games in 2020.
When the trade was completed, Port Adelaide Football Manager Chris Davies was confident the new arrival had an important role to play in 2021 and beyond.
“We know his speed, skill and goal sense will add to our forward mix. He has had some injury issues in recent years. But we back our medical and high-performance teams to get him back to full fitness and playing some strong Port Adelaide football over the coming years.”
Making an impact
We often hear in pre-season that a player is training the house down and are as fit as they have ever been.
In the case of Orazio Fantasia there certainly appears to be some merit to it.
In an interview with the Port Adelaide website when arriving at Alberton in November last year, the former Bomber appeared fit and raring to go.
“I’m in a really good position where I haven’t had any surgery. It’s probably the first time in four or five years where I haven’t had any surgery or anything like that so I can actually have a full pre-season.”
Six games into the season and Fantasia has played every game to date and been an important contributor.
Averaging 14 disposals a game the silky forward has kicked a goal in every game played, kicked multiple goals in five out of six games and is ranked 11th in the competition for total goals, score involvements and 17th for marks inside 50.
The 25-year-old has made a positive start to life at his new club. I might have just underestimated the role a fit, happy and healthy Orazio Fantasia could have at Port Adelaide.
— Port Adelaide FC (@PAFC) April 26, 2021