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Port Adelaide ruckman excited by club's youngsters following trial win


Young Port Adelaide ruckman Sam Hayes was impressed with the club’s practice match performance against Adelaide.

Port won the Under-23 trial match on Saturday by a goal despite a second half fightback from the Crows.

Hayes told SEN SA Breakfast that there were many positive signs to come from the outing.

“We had a ripping first half. We got a little but tired towards the end there in the second half, but we held on,” he said.

“There were some really positive signs from guys like Dylan Williams and Trent Burgoyne. They were able to get their hands on the footy and go really well.

Yet to debut due to a horror run with injury, Hayes said he was glad to pull on the boots after a strong pre-season and build on his SANFL form of late 2019.

“There’s been a few bumps along the way. In my first year I did my ACL. I was supposed to come back and play then got ill, so it was a tough first and second year,” he said.

“I was lucky enough to come back and play some footy halfway through last year and make the (SANFL) Grand Final.

“I’m a little bit sore but (after Saturday) but I’ve had a full pre-season, a full run at it so I’m pretty fit and ready to go this year."

Competing with Scott Lycett and Peter Ladhams for a spot in Port Adelaide’s starting line-up, Hayes says he still has a lot to work on.

“I think my main strength is my centre bounce work. I like to pride myself on giving the midfielders first use in the centre square,” he said.

“I’m still working on my stuff around the ground and other stuff, but I also think a strength of mine is marking, creating a contest and getting my hands on the ball.”

Despite his current place in the pecking order, the 20-year old told Kane Cornes and Andrew Hayes that he will continue to work hard to push his case.

“I’d probably say patience is a strength and I’ve been able to build a fair bit of resilience last year coming back from my ACL,” Hayes said.

“I’m working as hard as I can towards it and I know I have to be patient but I still want to get there as fast as I can.”

Port Adelaide take on the Western Bulldogs in Whyalla on Saturday.

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