Port Adelaide will attempt to storm Brisbane’s Gabba fortress without key striker Charlie Dixon, who remains sidelined with his foot injury.
But Dixon and fellow injured forward Mitch Georgiades have re-signed with the Powers ahead of the AFL Finals.
Port could also call on striker Todd Marshall and defender Trent McKenzie for the difficult final stage of qualifying, with Brisbane boasting an impressive 11-0 home record this season.
Dixon is back after missing Port’s last four games with a foot fracture and could be a week away from his return.
The 32-year-old has extended his contract with Alberton by a further 12 months.
Georgiades has signed a four-year contract extension that will keep him committed until at least the end of 2027. It puts an end to speculation about the West Australian native’s future after reported interest from rival clubs.
He is recovering from a knee reconstruction that has left the forward out of action since the second round.
“It’s great that the club put so much faith in me and do my best over the next four years to play as well as possible,” he said.
“Obviously it’s not the year I had in mind, but it’s a great way to end the year before the off-season starts.
“It was all about where I can best play football and at the end of the day when I look at this group, the youth and the players we have here, it’s quite hard to leave some of my best friends behind. ” So.
“When it came to where I’m going to play my best football, it was here.”
Marshall is in the selection mix for Saturday night after missing his 24th-round win over Richmond due to hip pain.
McKenzie has not played since round 21 with a knee injury and will have to pass a fitness test before he can play for the Lions.
Rich confirms he’s hanging up his boots
Brisbane defender Daniel Rich has confirmed his retirement from the AFL at the end of this season and hasn’t given up hope of a fairytale ending.
The 33-year-old made the announcement to his team-mates on Monday as they prepare for Saturday night’s home qualifier against Port Adelaide.
Rich has played 275 games and is a respected figure in Brisbane, but he’s only made seven appearances this season and his last AFL game came in Round 13.
He appears to be an unlucky finals series player as coach Chris Fagan said last month he would likely find it difficult to return to the senior team having missed so much football.
“It’s certainly been a frustrating year but it is what it is and all I can do is be the best teammate and person I can be to help the group and the club in every way I can improve,” said Rich.
“There’s still a lot of time left this season so I’ll work hard and be ready when needed, but if not I’ll do my part to support the lads and be part of the story whether I’m out there or not .” because this club means so much to me.
“I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of my life. My wife and family have made so many sacrifices for me that I can spend time with them and support the children as they grow.
“I would love to stay involved with the club and continue to develop the Lions both on and off the field. It’s easy to do something you love and are passionate about.”
Brisbane chief executive Greg Swann and football boss Danny Daly paid tribute to Rich, who was an All-Australian in 2021.
“There’s no doubt that Daniel Rich is one of the main players that people think of when they think of the Brisbane Lions and that’s one of the nicest compliments one can give,” Swann said.
Daly also praised Rich for his loyalty and said he would be missed back in Brisbane.
“It’s almost impossible to find the words that give Richy the recognition he deserves for what he has achieved as an individual and for what he has given to this club,” said Daly.
Lyon’s tough edge is key to the Saints’ success
Forget what you heard from St Kilda’s PR department about the new ‘Cuddly Ross’ Lyon.
The notorious disciplinarian retained his famous toughness in his second appearance at Moorabbin.
And it was instrumental in helping the Saints reach only the second finals since Lyon took charge at Fremantle in 2011.
“You hear stories about him in the past and that he was quite tough,” St Kilda forward Tim Membrey told AAP.
“He’s certainly still tough, but he just expects high standards.
“Everyone is nervous and when you’re in the program you have a job to do and that’s the way it should be.
“It’s something that’s been pushed really hard this year and all the players have embraced it.”
Two-time All-Australian defender Jack Sinclair has enjoyed having Lyon at the helm and has praised the 56-year-old tactician’s clear message since replacing sacked former manager Brett Ratten at St Kilda late last year.
“He has his simple laws that he lives by and he wants you to go along with them,” Sinclair told AAP.
“If you do that, he respects you – and if you don’t, you might be left out.
“We really hit it off as a group and he really wants us to work hard and stay true to the way we play.
“We did that for most of the year.”
Reliable defender Callum Wilkie, another All-Australian in St Kilda’s defence, said the “reliable” Lyon have set high standards since returning to Moorabbin to get the best out of the players.
It started in pre-season when the majority of the Saints were setting personal bests in the time trial.
Wilkie said Lyon’s process-oriented approach allowed the Saints to play with freedom and without fear of making mistakes while learning a new game plan.
Above all, commitment is the key.
“During that boring period where we weren’t winning that much until mid-year, the effort was still there but we just couldn’t really move the ball,” Wilkie told AAP.
“That’s gratifying because you can then focus on what’s actually going wrong.
“If the effort isn’t there, you can’t really take the game apart from a technical point of view.”
Lyon has described 2023 as a ‘year of discovery’ for St Kilda as the company enters a new era under his stewardship.
While not ideal, as Lyon would no doubt say, a loss to GWS in Saturday’s elimination final would not be viewed internally as disastrous for the pursuit of long-term success.
“He just expects an improvement. It’s incremental, but you just keep improving,” Wilkie said.
https://www.theroar.com.au/2023/09/05/afl-news-port-key-forward-ruled-out-rich-makes-retirement-call-lyon-bares-his-teeth-to-put-wind-up-saints/ Port Key forward eliminated, Rich calls for resignation, Lyon bares teeth to take out Saints