Westhoff retires, Port let rookies out of ‘bubble’

Port Adelaide veteran Justin Westhoff will retire at the end of the season.

The swingman told teammates on Thursday that this year will be his last with the club. Westhoff, 33, has been in and out of the Port side this year. He has amassed 280 games over a 14-year career.

Retiring: Justin Westhoff.Credit:Getty Images

Meanwhile, the ladder-leading Power will let several rookie-listed and fringe players free following training on Thursday.

Well-placed sources indicated the Power will announce later on Thursday that Wylie Buzza, Tobin Cox, Martin Frederick, Riley Grundy and Jake Patmore will all cease training with Port, meaning they will no longer have to live under the AFL-imposed COVID-19 restrictions. Several of the quintet will be delisted, while others could yet remain on Port's list next year depending on list sizes and rules.

None of the five have played a senior AFL game for Port. Tall forward and pinch-hitting ruckman Buzza is the only one to have played an AFL game at all, appearing nine times at senior level for Geelong before being delisted at the end of last season. He was subsequently picked up by the Power as a delisted free agent.

Wylie Buzza moved to Port from Geelong.Credit:Getty Images

Key defender Grundy, the younger brother of Collingwood star Brodie Grundy, was picked up in the 2018 draft before being delisted and re-drafted as a rookie at the end of last season.

Category B rookie backman Frederick is the twin brother of Fremantle's Michael Frederick. Small forward Cox and midfielder Patmore have both been at Port for multiple seasons without cracking into the senior lineup.

With AFL-listed players not involved at SANFL level this year and Port likely to have to travel during the finals, the early decisions allow the delisted players to move on with their lives and prepare for the future.

The Power enter their round 18 match against Collingwood with few injury concerns. Zak Butters is suspended for one more game while Ryan Burton (quad), Tom Clurey (hamstring) and Mitch Georgiades (hamstring) are the only other players on the club's unavailable list.

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