Port Adelaide has bolstered its SANFL experience by signing delisted Fremantle defender Cam Sutcliffe as the Magpies’ Marquee Player until the end of 2020.
Released by the Dockers at the end of the 2018, Sutcliffe appeared destined to return to his original SANFL club in Woodville-West Torrens.
But it is understood the 26-year-old was lured to Alberton with the chance to combine his playing duties with a role as a development mentor while donning the black and white prison bars.
“A few opportunities came my way in the WAFL and the SANFL but I was really interested in the role at Port Adelaide after the SANFL updated its rules recently,” Sutcliffe told portadelaidefc.com.au.
“I know a couple of people at Port Adelaide in Shane Grimm and Chris Davies so when I spoke with Shane on the phone and I came to the club and had a look around, I was even more excited.
“I know the rich history of Port Adelaide. It’s a powerhouse club in South Australia and I am really excited about getting started and leading a Magpies team full of young talent, which will be a great honour.
“There was a pull to go back to the Eagles because I was there before and they have been close to winning a flag recently, but to be able to be a leader at Port Adelaide and to hopefully win a premiership for this great club will be special.”
Logging 104 AFL games in the purple and white from 2012 to 2018, Sutcliffe will provide a strong body presence for the young Magpies.
Measuring in at 186cm and 87kg, the Yorke Peninsula product will likely spend more time in the midfield under coach Matt Lokan than he did with the Dockers at elite level.
“Having had seven years of AFL experience, getting through the season, stacking the work together in the fitness and strength base and being consistent throughout the year and throughout a career – that’s the kind of knowledge I hope to bring for some of the young guys coming through,” said Sutcliffe, who has signed a two-year deal.
“I’ve played a lot down back but I would love to play on the ball a bit more. I think I am a pretty versatile player so I am happy to play wherever (Magpies coach) Matty Lokan asks me to.”
Sutcliffe replaces former Magpies captain Steven Summerton, who will play for Angaston next year after featuring in a total of 228 games for the Pies before announcing his retirement.
A total of five former Eagles will join Sutcliffe on the SANFL-contracted list at Queen Street, headlined by Matt Appleton, who most recently played 15 League matches for North Adelaide in 2018.
Jack Elsworthy, Ben Edwards, Lachlan Smith and father-son prospect Mitchell Mead are the other Port players to spend time at Oval Avenue.
Other familiar names include ex-Central District forward Dallas Hill and Glenelg defender Tom Corcoran, who was unable to debut at League level for the Tigers in 2018.
In the absence of the Magpies’ Reserves team in 2019, Port’s SANFL-contracted players will line up with the local community clubs when not required for SANFL duty.
Picture – PAFC Media
Cam Sutcliffe – Age: 26
Matt Appleton – Age: 25
Dallas Hill – Age: 25
Tom Corcoran – Age: 23
Mitchell Mead – Age: 19
Sam Davidson – Age: 19
Simon Wong – Age: 24
Jack Strange – Age: 20
Jack Elsworthy – Age: 22
Ben Edwards – Age: 23
Mony Makoi – Age: 22
Adam Mahney – Age: 21
Levi Proude – Age: 22
Lachlan Smith – Age: 20