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Port Adelaide skipper Travis Boak predicts bright future for ‘special’ WA draftee Sam Powell-Pepper

Port Adelaide skipper Travis Boak has described WA draftee Sam Powell-Pepper as a “really special kid” ahead of his likely season-opening debut against Sydney at the SCG on Saturday.

Boak, who will play his 200th AFL game against the Swans, said Powell-Pepper had hit the ground running at Alberton Oval and impressed his senior teammates with his maturity and enthusiasm.

“He’s super mature for his age. He’s pretty quiet and a guy who just goes about his business,” Boak said about the No.18 draft pick.

“He just loves the contest really, he just loves footy, and they’re the guys you want in your group and around the club.

“He loves being around the club and as soon as he’s out on the field, he just wants to compete and he doesn’t care who gets in his way which is what you want from an 18-year-old coming into your side.

“It’s pretty special to have him along with (fellow draftees) Joey Atley, Willem Drew and these sort of guys you’ll see over the next 12 or 18 months.”

When asked if Powell-Pepper had shown any nerves since coming into the AFL system, Boak recalled the East Perth product’s first training session.

East Perth product shows his determination in pre-season goal for Port Adelaide.

“His first training session he put Hamish (Hartlett) straight on his arse, and then not long after he dropped (vice-captain) Ollie (Wines) so he certainly hasn’t had any nerves,” he said.

Powell-Pepper, a big-bodied midfielder who has drawn comparisons with Richmond’s Dustin Martin, is no stranger to senior football having featured the Royals’ league side five times last season.

Power great Kane Cornes, a premiership-winning midfielder and first player at the club to reach 300 games, has already endorsed the teenager for a round-one debut after his eye-catching JLT Community Series campaign.

Cornes said he couldn’t believe Powell-Pepper slipped so low in last year’s national draft.

“Sam Powell-Pepper will play round one – get him in there,” Cornes said on radio.

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