Port Adelaide managed to shake their unwanted ‘choker’ tag when they clinched the 2004 AFL premiership.
Four seasons prior they had finished third only to bow out of September action in straight sets, while in 2002 they were minor premiers before failing in the Preliminary Final.
The following year they were again minor premiers but once again fell short in the penultimate week of the season.
However in 2004, the Power righted all those wrongs when bringing home the flag and it all came down to some home truths laid bare while on a footy trip, according to four-time Best and Fairest Kane Cornes.
Discussing the Indian cricket team’s apparent infighting during the second Test in Perth, Cornes recalled what was to be the catalyst for the ’04 triumph.
“The most memorable one (moment) for me was in 2003, and it happened on a footy trip, of all places,” Cornes called on SEN SA Breakfast.
“So, for the Port fans that suffered through 2001, 2002 and 2003, we won more home and away games than any other side but continued to bomb out in the finals.
“I think we were the best side in the competition but couldn’t get it done when it mattered. I remember they were calling us chokers and all that sort of stuff.
“It all came to a head between three or four teammates of mine including Jarrad Schofield and Josh Carr. It was late at night after a few drinks.
“Someone said, ‘look, we’re going to go nowhere if this continues to happen’. It was almost like a line in the sand where some players were accused of being selfish and having little divides within the group.
“From that moment on, it was pivotal in terms of changing the footy club around. I take the 2004 premiership back to that fateful night in 2003 where I think it started with Jarrad Schofield losing his wallet.
“Thats how it started and then it ended at the hotel room with players in tears. There was pushing and shoving. That was some infighting that I think was positive.”
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