Power failed character test: Bassett
PORT Adelaide assistant coach Nathan Bassett damningly says his club failed the character test this year and might have erred in trading away a handful of players who have "intangibles''.
Three weeks after the Power's season ended in despair with a home loss to Essendon that saw it miss the finals in a year it was supposed to contend for the premiership, Bassett said it paid a price for trading "quality people'' Jackson Trengove, Aaron Young, Brendon Ah Chee and Jarman Impey to rival clubs.
"We lost some good people,'' Bassett said as the club examines reasons why it fell from seventh in 2017 to 10th this year.
"They were probably people that weren't in our best 22 any more but Trengove, Young, Ah chee and Impey were quality people that made the club a better place for the players to come to work and train - and they helped other people get better.
"We did the right thing certainly by all of them in trading them because we gave them the chance to play regular AFL footy.
"But we probably lost something a little bit as a club and we think we need to get a little bit stronger in character for the players we have at the moment so they start loving the place again.''
Bassett said while none of the quartet were regular players last year, they brought character to Port - a quality it lacked in losing six of its last seven matches this season.
In what might have been a backhander to star forward/midfielder Chad Wingard, who is on the trade table, Bassett said the Power must look beyond pure talent when assessing its list.
"When you are talking trading, every player has a talent that they bring on the field, what they do physically,'' he told radio FIVEaa.
"And then there's also what they do off the field and the intangibles, how they help people along with their games.
"I think right across our group we probably lacked a little bit of that this season.
"The players that have intangibles are the ones that you really don't trade because they help other people get better.
"There's normally three or four or sometimes seven or eight of those guys in your footy club that you know your club is worse off if they leave because they are doing little things that make your club stronger.
"You look at those things, the qualities a player is bringing to your club, and if they are not bringing those other qualities then it's really just their talent and you can try to replace the talent with potentially a bit more talent somewhere else.''
Bassett said Port needs to "strengthen the social side again and build those stronger relationships in the playing group''.
"I think that's really important to us,'' he said, adding it was plain sailing at the Power when it boasted an 11-4 record but "flat'' when it struggled at the end of the year.
While Bassett would not guarantee Wingard's Port future, he said key defender Tom Jonas, who also has just one-year to run on his contract and has been linked with a move to Sydney, was "not going anywhere''.
"Tom will be a Port player for a long time I think,'' he said.