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Jackson Trengove – the man with a plan

Jackson Trengove is a man with a plan, both on the field and off it. caught up with the Power defender to discuss Port’s rocky start to 2015, his new clothing label and the challenges of moving interstate.

When Port Adelaide was at its lowest ebb a few years back, Jackson Trengove wanted to know where his club was heading.

“It was tough,” Trengove told this week.

“We worked out that if we were going to become any good, we needed to keep these players.”

“The club was labelled a basket-case, we had no money off-field and didn’t really have a direction.”

While Travis Boak’s famous meeting with Geelong was taking up the headlines, Trengove was weighing up his own future.

“We had about five or six players out of contract. We sat down together and had a bit of a chat and worked out that if we were going to become any good, we needed to keep these players.

“We stayed pretty strong and didn’t really lose too many players – I think we lost Ben Jacobs, Danyle Pearce, Troy Chaplin and Shaun Burgoyne. But we kept most of the young kids.”

Though the Power’s start to 2015 hasn’t been ideal, the 24-year-old is more than comfortable with his decision to stay put.

“We’ve definitely got a path and a direction, which is exciting for the boys who stayed.”

AFL 2014 First Semi Final - Fremantle v Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide has been widely lauded for its stunning turnaround in recent years but now, for the first time in a while, the Power are on the back-pages for the wrong reasons.

Their ability to run out games was praised by many in 2014, but after winning 16 of its 22 fourth quarters last year, Port Adelaide is ranked last in the competition for last terms, having won just one for the season.

But, as Trengove explains, the club has a plan to fix that too.

“It’s not actually fourth quarters that are our problem. We’re not working hard enough early on in games, which was one of our key things [in 2014].

“Last year we were working teams over early on in games, and it’d then reflect in our last quarters when we were able to sustain that running and break teams open. This year we’re still working hard in fourth quarters but we haven’t worked hard enough in the first three.

“That’s one thing that we’re addressing. Hopefully we can get our work-rate back up and work harder in the next few games.”

Trengove is similarly organised away from footy, where he’s pursuing an interest in real estate – he’s recently renovated a number of units with his dad in South Australia and is looking to do the same in Melbourne – while mapping out a plan for his clothing label.

He says Shilah, the streetwear brand he started with his housemate earlier this season, “has gone further than we thought it would at this point.”

He’s now looking to take the business into its next phase.

“Our first goal was to get the brand up and running and get the name out there a fair bit, but now that we’ve done that we’re looking to create some designs that don’t just have ‘Shilah’ written across the front – which is pretty stock-standard for a lot of brands at the moment.”

Shilah has already produced jumpers, collared shirts, caps, beanies, sunglasses and bowties – and will release a range of jeans in the months ahead.

“We want to create something affordable, but classy and good quality at the same time.”

“John Butcher just wears anything. He’ll wear his painting kit from the weekend.”

There’s also a distinct native American influence throughout many of the designs – a nod to the brand’s name, Shilah, the native American word for brother.

“We’ve taken a bit out of the native American style, with the leaves and feathers, so we’ll keep that going through our clothes.”

Trengove nominates skipper Travis Boak and defender Cam O’Shea as the Power’s two best-dressed players, but says there’s a clear standout when it comes to the worst-dressed at the club.

“John Butcher just wears anything. As long as he’s got a hat on his head, he’s happy. He’ll wear his painting kit from the weekend – he doesn’t really worry about it.”

Though the Power are still yet to really flick the switch for 2015, Trengove says his teammates aren’t too worried about that either. He’s confident the results will come before too long.

“It’s been a tough start for us, and we’ve underperformed as a side, but the beauty of it is we’re in a reasonable position and know what we’ve got to improve on to get back to our best footy.

“When you can still win a few games and not play your best footy, that’s one of the most exciting things – but we want to fix that up as quickly as possible.”

Click here to visit the Shilah website, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @shilahclothing.