Brisbane Lions AFL player Charlie Cameron.
Charlie Cameron will play his 200th AFL game in Saturday's qualifying final against Port Adelaide. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Port task to stop Cameron ‘lighting up Gabba’ in 200th

Murray Wenzel September 9, 2023

It will be an uncomfortable assignment but Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is optimistic his backline has the speed to stop Charlie Cameron lighting up the Gabba in his 200th AFL game.

The Brisbane Lions’ small forward will celebrate the milestone in Saturday’s qualifying final against the Power in Brisbane.

The All-Australian has relished the big stage, boasting back-to-back three-goal efforts in last year’s post-season campaign and a pair of five-goal finals hauls before that.

In a team full of offensive threats, the 29-year-old presents as the Lions’ barometer and a clear danger that needs to be quelled if Port are to book a preliminary final berth.

Halfback Ryan Burton would traditionally take on the task but Hinkley hinted stopping Cameron could be a problem solved by committee.

“He’s a real challenge for any team,” the Power coach said. 

“His finals form is outstanding and he loves playing at the Gabba too, so we know it’s a big challenge.

“But so is Joe (Daniher), so is Lachie (Neale); there’s so many players out there. 

“The top two or three teams are going to have good players in them all the time.

“No one is comfortable playing on Charlie … what we have got is a number of players with genuine leg speed that play down there, which may be needed.”

The Mornington Island product will have more than 20 family and friends in the stands on Saturday to celebrate a career that began with a bang for Adelaide back in 2014.

“It’s a fantastic story and a great inspiration to his community,” Lions coach Chris Fagan said of Cameron.

“Until Charlie came along I’d never seen the Gabba light up.

“He lights the place up, he entertains and plays footy the right way … and puts smiles on people’s faces.

“Aside from trying to win premierships, that’s what this game is all about.”

Lincoln McCarthy (calf) returns for Brisbane while Port Adelaide have lost retiring skipper Tom Jonas to injury, relegated Travis Boak to the substitute role and will be without key tall Charlie Dixon (knee).

Trent McKenzie (knee), Scott Lycett (knee) and Todd Marshall (hip) will all return from injuries for the clash.