Port to offer Hinkley a new contract

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    Port Adelaide president David Koch wants to extend coach Ken Hinkley’s contract, saying players are to blame for an excruciating exit from the AFL finals.

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    Hinkley, a former Gold Coast assistant coach, has been mooted as a target of the Suns, seeking a replacement for the sacked Rodney Eade.

    “I don’t know why there is this talk about Ken going to the Gold Coast because he has got another year at least to go on his contract,” Koch told Adelaide radio station 5AA on Monday.

    “Over the summer we will talk to him about extending that.

    “That is the timetable Ken Hinkley wanted and we have such respect for Ken Hinkley, that is exactly what we’re going to do.”

    Koch described Port’s two-point elimination final defeat – coming from a goal by West Coast’s Luke Shuey after the end of extra-time – as the club’s “most devastating loss”.

    And he laid the blame squarely on the players.

    “We blew it. We know we blew it,” he said.

    “We didn’t have the composure to make the most of the big moments and when you kick 10.16 in an elimination final, you’re never going to win.”

    Shuey slotted the goal after the siren from a free kick for a high tackle against Port’s Jared Polec.

    “Forget the discussion on wether it was a freek kick or not, I think the umpires got it right,” Koch said.

    “We shouldnt have been in a position to do that.

    “And it has been a trait that we have had for a lot of the year: that in big moments the team doesn’t follow Ken’s plan.”

    Hinkley has taken Port to the finals in three of his five years in charge and is contracted until the end of next season.

    “I have often said that my job is to try and make Ken Hinkley a 10-year coach and to give him all the resources to be that,” Koch said.

    “Because if you look at successful AFL clubs, it’s all based around the stability of the coach, stability of chief executive, and a board, and a leadership group within your playing group.”

    © AAP 2017

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