PORT Adelaide’s search for experience – and insurance – is bringing Gold Coast defender Trent McKenzie to Alberton from the AFL’s delisted stock.
The booming left-footer, known as “The Cannon”, is the Power’s first signingin the delisted free-agent market that should also deliver North Melbourne forward Lindsay Thomas in a homecoming to Port Adelaide.
McKenzie, 25, joins the Power after being claimed by Gold Coast for its inaugural AFL list in 2010. He played 106 AFL games in seven years with the Suns, but just seven in each of the past two seasons.
Essendon midfielder Jackson Merrett, who toured Alberton last Friday, will not be joining the Power. The 24-year-old Victorian has signed a one-year contract extension with the Bombers.
McKenzie becomes the fourth experienced player seeking new fortunes at Alberton in a busy off-season at Alberton. He follows Brisbane free-agent midfielder Tom Rockliff, Geelong free-agent midfielder-forward Steven Motlop and Melbourne key position player Jack Watts.
McKenzie was hand-picked by the Power list-management team after the exit list at Alberton became longer than originally expected. There were 10 changes – a quarter of the senior list – with retirements, trades and delistings last month.
“When Trent is fit, we are all aware of his talent, particularly by foot,” Power list manager Jason Cripps said on Thursday. “We think he can certainly fill a need for us with his kicking.
“We are confident that our high-performance team will ensure Trent has the best opportunity to maximise his career here at Port Adelaide.”
McKenzie will join the Power in pre-season training on Thursday, November 27.
“Port Adelaide has great appeal for me,” McKenzie said.
“On-field they play a high energy, exciting brand of football and off-field I’m looking forward to being reunited with Ken Hinkley and working with their high-performance team to ensure I can get the best out of my ability,” added McKenzie who was guided by Hinkley during his stint as an assistant coach at the Suns.
“Right now though, I just can’t wait to start at the club and look to win the respect of my teammates, coaches and the Port Adelaide supporters over the upcoming pre-season.”
The Power on Sunday cut experienced midfielder Matt White and three-game forward Jesse Palmer. This followed the retirements of Angus Monfries and Nathan Krakouer and the trade moves of free-agent utility Jackson Trengove (Western Bulldogs), Jarman Impey (Hawthorn), Brendon Ah Chee (West Coast), Aaron Young (Gold Coast), Matt Lobbe (Carlton) and Logan Austin (St Kilda).