When Chad Wingard was in the elite SANFL under 18s talent program, he wrote down an ambition to play 100 AFL games.
Last Saturday, in the Power’s pivotal clash at Domain Stadium in Perth against Fremantle he achieved this milestone.
Still just 22 (he turns 23 at the end of July), his accomplishments in the first four and a half season’s at the top level rate him among best the young players in the code this century.
There is a pair of All-Australian jumpers in 2013 and 2015, along with the John Cahill Medal as the Power’s best and fairest player in his second season of AFL football.
He claimed the Port Adelaide leading goal-kicker award last year with 53 goals.
After debuting in round one of 2012, there was the expected AFL Rising Star nomination and he collected the Gavin Wanganeen Medal as the Power’s best young talent in his initial season.
By his second year Wingard had proved he was already a match winner, which his game turning five-goal effort proved in Showdown XXXV in round 19 of the 2013 season, where the Power charged home to win a thriller by four points.
In the unheralded AFL best 22 “Under 22 team”, Wingard has been selected for three years in a row from 2013.
He played in the 2013 Aboriginal All Stars game at Traeger Park, Alice Springs and the following year donned an Australian jumper in the International Rules game against the Irish.
An elite junior player and an A grade premiership footballer with the Imperials in Murray Bridge back in 2009, he was a bottom and top age South Australian U18s participant and captain of his state in 2011.
For all the accolades he has achieved, it is the expectation around Chad Wingard when he runs onto the ground that excites the purists.
Just 182 centimetres tall and 82 kilograms in weight, he is a player that brings patrons through the gates, capable of kicking a brilliant goal and taking that sky scrapping mark.
His brilliant individual effort during the third quarter of the Adelaide Oval clash with St Kilda in round 12, 2014, claimed Mark of the Year honours.
Wingard is the son of a talented indigenous country footballer, Trevor and his Irish mother, Julie.
He was schooled at Unity College and was a talented junior basketballer who represented his state at underage level in this discipline as well.
Wingard’s performance over his first 99 games had former team mate Kane Cornes suggesting on national television that he will overtake Gavin Wanganeen and Warren Tredrea as the Port Adelaide’s greatest-ever player last week.
Exciting, energetic and mercurial, Wingard will be one of the marquee AFL footballers in the country and the type of player that you build a franchise around.