Port Adelaide draftee Willem Drew to play in 2017 SANFL grand final

BIG STAGE PERFORMER: AFL draftee Willem Drew will run out for Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL decider on Sunday. Picture: Kane Chenoweth, Port Adelaide

BIG STAGE PERFORMER: AFL draftee Willem Drew will run out for Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL decider on Sunday. Picture: Kane Chenoweth, Port Adelaide

WILLEM Drew is accustomed to the hype of grand final day.

The three-time Hampden league premiership player will strive for his fourth flag in a row and first at SANFL level on Sunday.

Drew, 18, will play for Port Adelaide Magpies against Sturt at Adelaide Oval, having spent his AFL debut season developing his skills at the Power’s affiliate.

The Koroit export is one of three players with Hampden links pushing for a state competiion premiership this weekend – Cobden-turned-Fremantle ruck colossus Sean Darcy will play for the Dockers’ affiliate Peel Thunder in the WAFL grand final, while Warrnambool’s Daniel O’Keefe will coach Geelong Falcons in the TAC Cup decider.

Drew collected the first of his three premiership medallions with Koroit at just 15.

He was named best on ground in the 2016 decider – just two months before finding an AFL home via the draft.

He’s paid close attention to the Saints’ fortunes this year and is hoping they can win a fourth consecutive flag on Saturday.

“I’ve been keeping up with how they’re going every week,” Drew said.

‘Obviously it’s a massive game this week against Port Fairy and I’m sure there will be a big crowd there and hopefully they can get over the line.”

Drew expects to play on a wing – a role he embraced as a junior before being thrust into the midfield – in the SANFL decider.

He’s played 19 matches for Port Magpies and was named emergency at AFL level in his debut season.

“First year you don’t know what to expect so I was happy to be in the mix a few times,” Drew said of being in the AFL frame.

“It took me a couple of games to get the feel of the tempo of the game (in the SANFL).

“It was a step up but I have learned a lot this year and I’ve really enjoyed playing.

“I’d never been to Adelaide before I came over but I am loving it at the moment.

“I’m living with Joe Atley in a host family and it’s going really well.”