This club and this family are so special to me

OLLIE Wines has a burning dream – and the motivation to add an AFL Premier’s Medal is fueled by the need to honor the Port Adelaide teammates who have inspired medalist Brownlow over the past decade and 199 matches.

“I want to win a premiership – and my focus for the past two years has been (to win that flag) not for me,” Wines said in the build-up to his 200-game AFL milestone this weekend. -end during the away clash. with Collingwood at the MCG.

“It’s for Robbie Gray, Tom Jonas, Travis Boak… the guys who have been at this club for so many years and stayed in Port Adelaide and stayed true. I want to get one for them. I want to see those guys can stand up to receive a premier medal.

“They set the standard. They put this club in the right direction. That’s what they deserve.”

Ollie Wines says one of the main motivations for winning an AFL Premiership is to reward fellow club stalwarts Travis Boak, Robbie Gray and Tom Jonas. Image: AFL Photos.

It’s been a long wait – the longest in the club’s history – without a premiership celebration in Alberton since the AFL flag was breached in 2004.

“We’re hungrier (for success) than ever,” Wines said. “We will continue to put ourselves in the position where we are around the mark. This year we have failed. We have not met our expectations for this season, although mathematically we still have a chance for the finals – and it’s hard to get here.

“But that will never stop us from showing up to chase that flag. Year after year we will come back to work to chase it again.

“Going 0-5 at the start of the season made it difficult to catch up. We need to prepare better to start the season well.

“We have full confidence in our team, in our roster – not much has changed (in profile) from the roster in the last two years. We have to get back to what makes us the best football club we can be. We need to focus on that throughout pre-season.

“We have a really good roster; a good young and developing roster with a lot of growth. We have older guys who are still in really good shape. Our advantage will come from young guys coming in and playing in different positions, learning to do it differently and be AFL footballers. The growth we need to come is in these guys.

Ollie Wines says it’s great to see some of the young players coming in, excited that they still have a lot to do to grow and evolve. Image: AFL Photos.

Wines, 27, is today in the image of Port Adelaide. A decade ago, the first-round Victorian conscript had no intention or desire to stay in Alberton longer than the mandatory two-year enlistment required of first-time conscripts.

“It’s pretty well documented that when I was drafted – with the position the club was in – in all honesty I was probably looking to leave the club as soon as possible; do my two years and move on,” Wines said. “But this club and this family is something so special to me. I’m proud to be able to leave my mark on Port Adelaide Football Club and one day – when I’m old and playing good football – to say that I have contributed and been part of this club.

“It’s the most special part of my life, outside of my own family. It’s something I always relish.”

Wines enters his 200th game knowing he can afford a quick glimpse into the journey that still has a lot to offer in AFL football.

“It’s a time in my career where I can pause, look back – and looking back, it was quick – nine years and time flies,” Wines said. “This is the moment where I can stop, look back and savor what happened. And it exceeded all my expectations.

Ollie Wines celebrates a Showdown 47 win with Tom Jonas in 2019. The midfield bull has so far collected nine Showdown wins in his career. Image: AFL Photos.

The story is …

Wines was drafted at No.7 in the 2012 AFL National Draft when he would have hoped to follow the family lines to Carlton. His great-uncle Clinton Wines played 39 VFL games for the Melbourne-based club.

Wines made his AFL debut in his earliest possible moment, the season-opening clash against Melbourne at the MCG on 31 March 2013 which marked the new era in Port Adelaide. He started with 24 eliminations. It was also senior manager Ken Hinkley’s first game with Port Adelaide.

The partnership delivered a 116-83 win-loss record.

“It’s been really special,” Wines says of his relationship with Hinkley, as a coach and beyond football. “There are just a few of us left (from the 2013 squad) – Travis Boak, Robbie Grey, Tom Clurey and Tom Jonas… We’ve formed a really good bond by being able to understand each other, not just on the football level but on a personal level which has been beneficial in developing trust in these relationships.

“Ken was a really good figure for me, not just in football but in life as I lived away from home and my family. He made me feel really comfortable here. Ken and Travis Boak were the two key figures in my footballing career at Port Adelaide.

– Ollie Wines

“I had the opportunity to play from day one because of the position the club was in – and my draft position. Ken and the coaches always gave me that opportunity. get the most out of learning from the midfielders around me, especially Travis Boak who has been a very good leader and role model for me – and not just in terms of football Travis does an awful lot of work off the pitch. , learning to be a good footballer and a good person off the pitch was my biggest natural development.”

Ollie Wines says he’s been blessed to have been able to play at AFL level as soon as he was drafted, making his first-round debut in 2013. Image: AFL Photos.

Wines’ other notable matches are:

50: against Fremantle in the opening clash of the 2015 season. He had 27 eliminations in the seven-point loss at Subiaco Oval in Perth to the eventual Minor Premier.

100: against North Melbourne in Round 17 2017 at Adelaide Oval. He had 31 eliminations in the 70-point win.

150: against Richmond in Round 11 2020 at Adelaide Oval with significantly reduced capacity due to Covid arrangements. He had 28 eliminations in the 21-point win over the eventual AFL Premier.

The 200th – just like the 150th milestone – will be shared with defender Tom Jonas, with whom Wines shared the captaincy for one season in 2019 before Port Adelaide restored the one-captain tradition.

Ollie Wines celebrates with former teammates Sam Gray and Jackson Trengove during his 100th AFL match in 2017. Image: AFL Photos.

“Tom has become one of my best friends,” Wines said. “We’ve played our 150th together and it turns out we’ll be playing our 200th together. To stand next to Tom and support him as captain – and see the leader he’s become – is something I’m incredibly grateful for. proud.

“Seeing Tom’s development as a leader…he was the real tough one, Tommy. He didn’t show a lot of empathy. He didn’t have that softer side. Seeing him grow in that area, being able to really take care of his teammates. We know how tough and tough he is during games, but off the pitch Tom will throw his arm around someone and really care and listen is a growth he is proud of. I see him as a leader – and there aren’t many areas he’s lacking in these days.”

Port Adelaide’s 11th-place finish and 8-10 win-loss record will prompt a review of why expectations have not been met at Alberton this season. Wines insists that a calm approach to finding the reasons for the frustrating results would reveal that little is broken in Port Adelaide’s football department.

“I’m really happy with our football program,” Wines said. “Since 2013, with a lot of heavy work from Ken Hinkley, (chairman) David Koch, (former general manager) Keith Thomas and Travis Boak, the culture that’s been created at this club is…obviously I’m biased… . . . . as high as we can get.

“We go to work every day wanting to improve, wanting to improve. It’s huge here.

“We’ve had games with quarterbacks – like Saturday in the third against Geelong – when we can put seven or eight goals on these good teams gets frustrating because it hasn’t been as consistent as the previous two years. In those games where we play the top four teams, we’re only beaten by two or three goals, but it’s not close enough… and that’s what was most frustrating: going into those games without winning. shows that we are just a little off at the moment.

“It’s getting frustrating to put these (high-scoring) quarterbacks together – scoring eight goals over the No. 1 team in the league – but we can’t just finish the game.”

Ollie Wines in action against Geelong in Round 19, Port Adelaide’s third-quarter blitz not enough to defeat the top-seeded Cats. Image: AFL Photos.

The test of Port Adelaide’s football program is, as Wines notes, “player conviction never wavered throughout the year despite that 0-5 start”.

“We always believed in what we were doing – and what we could do,” Wines said. “At this stage it hasn’t quite gone as we hoped. But our faith in Ken and everyone at the club is still there.

“I understand that the fans are emotional. I know they want the best for their team. They will always have their opinion. We like that. We like the passion of our fans. And we will continue to work to make this football club better.”

Shirley M. Pinder