Port Adelaide's Sam Powell-Pepper is a target for rival AFL clubs.
Port Adelaide's Sam Powell-Pepper is a target for rival AFL clubs.

Port’s Powell-Pepper mettle set to be tested

Clubs are ready to test Port Adelaide's appetite to hold onto big-bodied midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper in the upcoming trade period.

The 21-year-old has a deal until the end of next season, but The Advertiser understands that other AFL clubs are investigating his status as a Power player going forward.

Port Adelaide could decide to keep Powell-Pepper, who as played 52 games since being drafted with pick 18 in 2016, but rivals are checking in at Alberton as to whether there is any desire of trading him.

It comes as questions pop up about Powell-Peppers' role in the Port team and whether he could be used as trade bait in the coming off-season.

Last month in The Advertiser 2004 Premiership player Kane Cornes wrote that Port's list had an excess of inside midfielders and Powell-Pepper should be cashed in while he still has "currency" so the Power can get some creativity in their midfielder.

"The Power should explore trading him home to a Perth-based club at the end of the season," Cornes wrote.

"Fremantle would benefit from Powell-Pepper's attributes in the midfield."

The Power have also recently been linked to Essendon's Orazio Fantasia, and Powell-Pepper would give the Bombers a clearance winning big-bodied midfielder they are lacking.

The Western Australian played all 22 games in his first year of AFL footy two-years-ago, gaining a Rising Star nomination in his first game and finishing third in the final count behind Essendon's Andrew McGrath and his now Port teammate Ryan Burton.

But following a tougher second season in 2018, marred by a club-imposed sanction, Powell-Pepper has been in and out of the Port side in 2019 over concerns about his kicking efficiency.

He was dropped to the SANFL in Round 14 and has been 11th hour inclusions for the Power in their last two games, replacing Travis Boak for the Showdown and Dan Houston against Brisbane when they were felled by injury and sickness just before the games.