Port to blood another AFL debutant

Steve LarkinAAP
Dylan Williams (r) is poised to become Port Adelaide's fourth AFL debutant this season.
Camera IconDylan Williams (r) is poised to become Port Adelaide's fourth AFL debutant this season. Credit: AAP

Port Adelaide will blood another teenage AFL debutant as coach Ken Hinkley relishes testing his squad's depth during a mounting injury crisis.

Victorian 19-year-old Dylan Williams will play his first game for the Power when they host Sydney on Saturday - Port's fourth debutant this season.

Hinkley is taking a glass half-full approach to having 10 players out injured including front-liners Robbie Gray, Zak Butters, Tom Clurey, Xavier Duursma, Orazio Fantasia, Lachie Jones and Tom Rockliff.

"It's a great challenge for the group," Hinkley told reporters on Thursday.

"You lose good players, and every team does ... we have dealt with that all the way through with the number of players we have lost this season.

"The only thing about that is (most) are starting to get close to coming back.

"So if we can get through that, with a squad mentality that we talked about back in January, February, we are really giving it a real run.

"We have got four debutants for the year now so we have found some other players who can also come and help us."

Williams, a left-footed goalsneak who Port selected with pick 23 at the 2019 draft, is among three changes for the fixture against the Swans.

The Oakley Chargers product replaces Gray, to miss about eight weeks because of a knee injury, while Hamish Hartlett returns to cover halfback Jones (hamstring) and Todd Marshall replaces the dropped Peter Ladhams.

Hinkley said Duursma, who has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in round four, was some chance to press for selection next week.

But the outlook for Butters, who has been out since early April because of an ankle injury, remained unclear.

"We are not going to out some sort of time frame on that," Hinkley said.

"I watch him train and I go 'well, he's nearly right to play, surely' but there is some stuff that he is dealing with that he has to battle through."

Key defender Clurey could return from a broken jaw next week but Fantasia is at least a fortnight from overcoming his knee injury.

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