Tom Rockliff is mobbed by teammates after his first goal in Port colours. Picture Sarah Reed
Tom Rockliff is mobbed by teammates after his first goal in Port colours. Picture Sarah Reed

I’ll bounce back: Rocky’s vow to Power fans

STAR recruit Tom Rockliff has vowed to repay Port Adelaide's faith, saying it is only a matter of time before he hits top form for his new club.

Admitting he has been frustrated by the modest start to his Power career after signing a lucrative four-year free agency deal in the off-season, the former Brisbane Lions captain is adamant he will prove his worth for Ken Hinkley's side.

Ball magnet Rockliff, who is likely to miss Saturday night's Anzac Round clash against Geelong at Adelaide Oval with a minor calf strain, has averaged just 12 disposals in his first four matches for Port - down 15 on his healthy 27-disposal average at Brisbane in the past six seasons.

"I'll be fine,'' Rockliff told The Advertiser.

"It hasn't been the ideal start for me, form or injury wise, but the more I play for Port the better I'll get.

"My best is certainly to come and I feel that by the second half of the year I'll fully hit my straps.''

Rockliff, a dual Lions club champion and an All-Australian midfielder in 2014, is not one to make excuses but admitted injuries had not helped his cause.

The 28-year-old hurt his right knee in the Power's intraclub practice match at Alberton in February and missed the JLT Community Series.

He then strained a calf muscle five minutes into last Sunday's loss to Essendon at Etihad Stadium and after receiving medical attention played until three-quarter time before being put on ice.

The injury - a small soleus strain in his left calf - will likely keep him out of the clash with the Cats.

Port Adelaide’s Tom Rockliff tackles former Brisbane teammate Harris Andrews during the round three clash at Adelaide Oval. Picture: James Elsby (AFL Media/Getty Images)
Port Adelaide’s Tom Rockliff tackles former Brisbane teammate Harris Andrews during the round three clash at Adelaide Oval. Picture: James Elsby (AFL Media/Getty Images)

"It has been frustrating because I had an interrupted pre-season which didn't allow me to have the ideal preparation,'' said Rockliff, who is so highly regarded at his new club that he has been included in the player leadership group.

"I felt that I was running on top of the ground and feeling good against Brisbane (in round three) and starting to find a little bit of form and then in the first quarter on the weekend I get an injury five minutes into the game, which made it tough to fight through.

"I tried to do my bit for the team, push through and help out where I could, but it clearly held me back, which was unfortunate.''

Rockliff said he is remaining calm and knows he will improve the more he plays with his new teammates and better understands his role in the team.

Having spent most of his 154 games with Brisbane stationed in the centre square, Rockliff has played more as a forward at Port because of the team's plethora of midfielders.

"There's been a couple of adjustments I've had to make,'' he said.

"Obviously I'm still getting used to playing with the (Port) boys and then there's the new role which will take a little bit of time to adjust to.

"It's just a matter of trying to find my niche in the team and the balance of inside-outside work.''


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