1997 Port Adelaide Power inaugural Season

The Port Adelaide Football Club was formed in 1870 . They played their first game against a team called the Young Australians. They joined the South Australian Football Association in 1877. Its name was changed to the South Australian Football League in 1907 and to the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) in 1927.

Port Adelaide has been the most successful senior football team in Australia having won 34 premierships, including three SANFL Flags from 1994 to 1996 and another two in 1998 and 1999.

Its passage into the AFL was a turbulent one. In 1990 Port made a bold move to join the AFL as South Australia’s first team after the SANFL Directors had turned down an offer from the AFL. This triggered the formation of the Adelaide Crows. In 1996 Port Adelaide was named as the next expansion team but only if another AFL team folded. Fortunately for them Fitzroy’s financial problems led to that very option and Port Adelaide entered the AFL in 1997.

As their symbol the Magpie was already claimed by Collingwood so Port changed to “Port Adelaide” with a hand holding a lightning bolt and added silver and teal to their famous black and white.

Port’s home ground is the Alberton Oval, which it still uses as its AFL training facility.

100 Covers were issued to commemorate the first match of the new AFL team, Port Adelaide Football Club against Richmond. The game was delayed to Saturday the 8th February when Richmond were unable to arrive on time on the 7th as stated on the covers.

There AFL Home Games were to be played at Football Park. The first, a practice match against North Melbourne was commemorated with a cover of 50 by Havilah Enterprises. It is shown in the banner

The first official game was an Ansett Cup Match at Football Park played against the previously youngest team, Fremantle. A cover showing previous Port Champions was released.

The official game of their AFL debut season was against Collingwood at the MCG. Collingwood had aggressively refused to allow Port to wear their “prison Bar” black and white jumpers nor call themselves the Magpies. Unfortunately it was a comfortable win to the Magpies.

They had to wait till 14 June for their first Victorian win against the Bulldogs. They finished the season with a very respectful 10 wins and a draw against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba. Covers were produced to record the Year in Review.

Daren Mead won the Best and Fairest and the Best First Year Player. Michael Wilson won the Rising Star.