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Aussie Rules: Powell-Pepper pens Port deal

Port Adelaide have secured the future of Sam Powell-Pepper who has penned a new deal, but there is also some worrying news coming from the injury front for the Power.

Port had a season to forget in 2022 after getting off to a shocking start which saw them lose the opening five games. They failed to recover from such a poor start but will be looking to make amends in the new campaign.

And they have received a big boost this week with the Powell-Pepper deal. Elsewhere the West Coast Eagles are also looking to bounce back from a disastrous 2022 when they suffered from a shocking run of injuries and finished second-bottom on the ladder.

Collingwood also have a new captain and he has set his sights on winning the Premiership in 2023. The new AFL season is fast approaching so let’s take a closer look at some of the big stories making the headlines.

Port secure Powell-Pepper

Port Adelaide have secured the future of Sam Powell-Pepper, who has penned a new two-year contract extension with the club.

It means he is tied down until the end of the 2025 AFL season and will now put an end to the rumours linking him with a return to Perth. Powell-Pepper was drafted out of Western Australia and reports had suggested he could look to head back there with either the West Coast Eagles or Fremantle Dockers.

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However he has now put an end to the rumours and says he is delighted to have committed his future after settling down to life in Adelaide.

Powell-Pepper had an outstanding 2022 with the Power despite their struggles and he will be keen to get them challenging at the right end of the ladder once again in the year ahead. Port can be backed at 11/20 to finish in the top eight and play finals again in 2023.

Finlayson injury concern

There is some worrying news emanating from the injury front for Port Adelaide though as Jeremy Finlayson requires ankle surgery.

The 26-year-old suffered a syndesmosis injury in training on Wednesday and was unable to complete the session. He has since been told he needs surgery to rectify the problem.

It means the powerful forward will miss the two pre-season games in Perth but the club are hopeful he will make the season opener against the Brisbane Lions. A recovery time-frame of six to eight weeks is the norm for these kind of injuries so there is a very good chance he will make the Lions showdown.

Port are priced at 3/4 to win the opener against the Lions, who can be backed at 11/10.

West Coast look to bounce back

Eagles captain Luke Shuey is confident they can put a disastrous 2022 behind them by pushing up the ladder once again this season. West Coast had been regulars in finals over the last few years and won the grand final back in 2018.

However last season they collapsed down the ladder. Injuries did not help matters, the Eagles were hit harder than most with Shuey himself also spending large chunks of time on the treatment table.

Now the injury situation has eased with virtually the entire list back fit and preparing for the new season. There had been talk of the Eagles needing to go through a rebuild but Shuey believes they still have what it takes to push for honours.

"I think we're confident we can bounce back, but the pride took a bit of a hit for us individually [and] for us as a footy club as well," the 32-year-old said. The Eagles can be backed at 12/1 to finish in the top eight and play finals again.

Moore sets sights on Premiership

Collingwood can be backed at 9/1 to win the Premiership and new captain Darcy Moore says that has to be the target. Collingwood surprised many when going deep into finals last year and making the Preliminary final and Moore believes they can raise their game to another level in 2023.

Moore has replaced Scott Pendlebury as captain and he is already rallying his troops ahead of the new season.

"This team is definitely capable of anything," Moore told reporters. "We showed that last year coming so close to a grand final and two weeks before that coming so close to the eventual premier (Geelong). That really excites us."

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