Travis Boak is one of the most consistent performers in the AFL, and despite having numerous opportunities to leave the club, his commitment to Port Adelaide is admirable. As the 30-year old makes his 250th AFL appearance, his legacy should be celebrated in Alberton. The midfielder is seemingly getting better with age, and his 2018 statistics displayed a remarkable consistency to his game. His numbers are certainly eye-catching, although his reliability can sometimes result in him being overlooked by fantasy managers. He isn't a fashionable choice by any means, but he continues to lead by example, and is viewed as an inspiration by many of the younger players at the club.
Tonight, Travis Boak plays his 250th game.— FOX FOOTY (@FOXFOOTY) May 3, 2019
Back in 2012, Port Adelaide was "on its knees" and Boak was in demand. Then Boak made a "stand" with a show of loyalty that helped turn the club around - and define his legacy at Alberton, via @AnnaHarrington: https://t.co/NuAjjetL49 pic.twitter.com/e8r2FL9t4l
Boak had the opportunity to leave Port Adelaide back in 2012. After five seasons with the club, he was understandably attracting interest from elsewhere, with the Cats reportedly making an approach for the then-22-year old. However, Boak opted to stay loyal to the Power, signing a new contract with the club amid ongoing financial turmoil. The temptation to join Geelong could have proved too much for the midfielder, who could have been wooed by the possibility of a move back home, but after much deliberation, he opted to put pen to paper on a new deal in Port Adelaide.
At the time, Boak was averging 0.6 goals per game, and around 12.4 kicks per match. During the 2011 season, he notched 458 disposals across the campaign, and had already outlined his importance to the side on many occasions. Those numbers have since risen, with an impressive 19 goals throughout the 2018 season, as well as making a crucial 94 tackles.
Port Adelaide co-captain Ollie Wines lavished praise upon his team-mate ahead of his forthcoming milestone calling him "the best and biggest influencer on my football career", before telling reporters that "we all love him". Boak clearly sets high standards in training as well as on the pitch, and he has been described as "such an incredible leader" by coach Ken Hinckley.
He isn't the most fashionable player in the AFL, but his numbers are extremely consistent, and he's one of the club's most valuable assets. Boak has reliquished his captaincy this season to concentrate on his game, and his decision is evidently beginning to pay off. According to Champion Data's figures, his rating has improved 39% in 2019, and he will be keen to help his side climb the ladder this year.
The Power have made a decent start to the season, and have been victorious in four of their opening six matches. Boak has scored four goals so far, and averaged 23.7 effective disposals. They are 2.75 in the latest Aussie Rules betting to finish in the top four this season, and their early-season form certainly suggests that they should be able to remain competitive over the next couple of months.
At just 30-years old, Boak has plenty more seasons left at the elite level, and although he no longer captains the side, his influence on the team is still evident. Although his career in the AFL is far from over, a bright future in coaching surely awaits the midfielder once he decided to hang up his boots.
Boak is seldom flashy, and also rarely attracts the headlines, but he continues to set a terrific example to young hopefuls throughout Australia, and his consistency and dedication must be applauded and recognised by fans of the sport.