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Hinkley calls for bolder approach at Port

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says he has changed his AFL club's game style, hoping a bolder approach will pay dividends in the coming season.

Hinkley calls for bolder approach at Port

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says he has changed his AFL club's game style, hoping a bolder approach will pay dividends in the coming season.

KEN HINKLEY the coach of the Power looks on during a Port Adelaide Power AFL training session at Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia.
KEN HINKLEY the coach of the Power looks on during a Port Adelaide Power AFL training session at Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia. Picture:Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Ken Hinkley is demanding a bolder Port Adelaide to fulfil his one wish for the AFL season: do it for longer.

Hinkley had Port perfectly placed after 15 rounds last season - 11 wins, four losses.


Then came the slide - just one win from the last eight games, and Port missed the finals.

"The one thing I want is a full season, not a part season," Hinkley told AAP.

"Me and the players all agree on the same thing: if we can do it for longer, we're capable."

Hinkley openly admits to changing Port's style for the new season, believing last year they became "opposition friendly ... we made it a bit too easy to play against us".

"We want to get a little bit more on the front foot; be bolder with the way we do all parts of our game," he said.

"People will hear it and say 'Oh, it's all about run or go fast' - it's not.

"We are really about making sure we have got urgency but we have also got to have some composure."

How that relates to a playing squad without the star power of off-season departures Jared Polec (North Melbourne) and Chad Wingard is a fascinating sub-plot of Port's season.

Polec finished fourth in last year's club champion award, Wingard fifth.

And while Hinkley realises the wider footy world is looking at the losses, he's thinking of the gains.

Chiefly, the arrivals of West Coast's premiership ruckman Scott Lycett, highly-rated Hawthorn halfback Ryan Burton and three first-round draft picks - Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma.

"We have brought in some people who are significantly beneficial to us," Hinkley said.

"We think we're a faster team, there's no doubt about that. If you're purely looking at leg speed, I'd say we feel faster, we look faster - we have got to be able to play faster."

Lycett's signing allow All-Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder to be deployed in attack more frequently.

Ryder will work in tandem with spearhead Charlie Dixon, set to return early in the season from a broken leg and dislocated ankle suffered late last year.

"Charlie and Paddy together is a whole new world of problems for the opposition," Hinkley said.

The attacking talls will be joined by four-time All-Australian Robbie Gray, enigmatic Steven Motlop, emerging Todd Marshall and Brad Ebert, who has shifted from his customary midfield role.

Burton, part of the deal which sent Wingard to Hawthorn, adds ready-made class to a solid backline which ranked fourth in the league for points conceded last season.

And Hinkley believes the trio of top-end draftees are all capable of slotting straight into AFL ranks.

"We have got to acknowledge some of the gains because with every loss you do get something back," he said.

There's also the returns of new vice-captain Hamish Hartlett, who played five games last season before needing a knee reconstruction, and stalwart Matthew Broadbent, who missed the entire season because of an ankle injury.

And Hinkley, who has appointed Ollie Wines and Tom Jonas as co-captains after Travis Boak stood down, plans to deploy a bigger batch of players through the crucial midfield area.

"If you look at all AFL midfields now, they're bloody good ... they're full of ammunition now, midfields," he said.

"We feel like our midfield is a very capable midfield. But we know that they are challenged by the absolute cream of the crop."

PORT ADELAIDE

Coach: Ken Hinkley

Captains: Ollie Wines and Tom Jonas

Last five years: 3-9-10-7-10

Premierships: 1 (2004).

Key five: Robbie Gray, Paddy Ryder, Charlie Dixon, Ollie Wines, Tom Jonas.

One to watch: Connor Rozee. Port's top draft pick at last year's draft, the fifth selection overall, boasts innate footy smarts, top-shelf skills, an eye-catching leap, and sure hands. The 18-year-old was influential in helping North Adelaide win last season's SANFL flag and also in South Australia's victory in the under-18 championships.

Ins: Ryan Burton (Hawthorn), Zak Butters (Western Jets), Tobin Cox (Glenelg), Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power), Martin Frederick (Category B rookie), Riley Grundy (Sturt), Scott Lycett (West Coast), Sam Mayes (Brisbane), Kai Pudney (Category B rookie), Connor Rozee (North Adelaide), Boyd Woodcock (North Adelaide).

Outs: Dom Barry (delisted), Jack Hombsch (Gold Coast), Emmanuel Irra (delisted), Jake Neade (delisted), Jasper Pittard (North Melbourne), Jared Polec (North Melbourne), Will Snelling (delisted), Lindsay Thomas (retired), Jimmy Toumpas (delisted), Chad Wingard (Hawthorn).

Best line-up

B: Dan Houston, Tom Clurey, Dougal Howard

HB: Ryan Burton, Tom Jonas, Hamish Hartlett

C: Travis Boak, Ollie Wines, Jack Watts

HF: Steven Motlop, Justin Westhoff, Brad Ebert

F: Robbie Gray, Charlie Dixon, Paddy Ryder

R: Scott Lycett, Sam Powell-Pepper, Tom Rockliff

I: Riley Bonner, Todd Marshall, Matthew Broadbent, Darcy Byrne-Jones

Predicted finish: 12th

AAP


AAP




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