After missing out of Port Adelaide’s first JLT Community Series game against West Coast due to a calf complaint, Todd Marshall has been pushing for selection for the second pre-season game.
The Power will play at Alberton Oval in an AFL-sanctioned match for the first time in the club’s history tomorrow afternoon when they host the Adelaide Crows.
Marshall, 19, missed the first JLT clash and the inaugural AFLX tournament due to a strain suffered during Port Adelaide’s internal trial match on February 10, where he kicked two goals in a strong showing.
Marshall said that his sore calf is now ‘‘good to go’’ and that he is keen to get out on the field.
‘‘I was close to playing against the Eagles but we just didn’t want to take any risks,’’ he said.
‘‘My first goal is to get on the park for the match against the Crows and to push for a spot in the side for round one (of the AFL premiership season).’’
With the match expected to be a sell-out, it would also be Marshall’s first taste of a ‘showdown’ between the Power and the Crows.
‘‘I would love to play a showdown match this year,’’ he said.
‘‘I was talking to Sam Powell-Pepper who played in one in his first season and he said the atmosphere was crazy.
‘‘While the JLT game against the Crows won’t be at the same level as a home and away season ‘showdown’, I’m sure it will still be a good atmosphere.’’
Marshall has plenty going for him heading into this year, having three AFL games under his belt and completing his first full pre-season of footy, after injury disrupted his preparations for his first season at the club last year.
The 198cm tall forward has made the most of being able to complete the full program, adding 5kg of muscle to his now 91kg frame over summer.
Marshall said despite the extra weight, his game style won’t change too much.
‘‘I’m probably not a strong key forward like Charlie Dixon but it (the weight) has definitely helped me in one-on-one contests,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ll continue to use my speed and mobility to my advantage but if I get caught in a one-on-one then I feel confident I can hold my ground a bit better.
‘‘With the calf I’ve only missed a couple of sessions so it’s been good to be able to take part in the majority of pre-season.
‘‘I have a good level of fitness and that little bit of experience at AFL level from last year should hold me in good stead to earn a spot in the senior side.’’
Marshall’s work over the past year hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the former Deni Rams junior getting high praise from his Power coach Ken Hinkley and captain Travis Boak.
When Hinkley and Boak were speaking with Adelaide’s The Advertiser about the former star junior cricketer, they both couldn’t help but use the term ‘special’ to describe him.
‘‘It’s fairly good to have them (Hinkley and Boak) say that about me,’’ Marshall said.
‘‘While it might add extra pressure to some, I feel there’s always pressure on a player no matter what.
‘‘I just want to go out there, keep working hard and hopefully I can perform consistently well.’’
Marshall’s selection hinges on whether he was cleared after an assessment of his calf yesterday. At the time of going to print Port Adelaide’s final squad for Saturday was not released.