Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has declared no player is untradeable as the Power seek to escape the AFL’s “death zone”.
After storming to an imposing 11-4 record this season, Ken Hinkley’s side plummeted out of finals contention, losing six of their last seven matches, to finish 10th.
With speculation swirling around the futures of contracted forward Chad Wingard and uncontracted wingman Jared Polec, Koch said no player is off limits in trade talks as the club positions itself to climb back up the ladder in 2019.
“No one is off the trade table as far as we’re concerned,” Koch told Adelaide’s Triple M on Saturday.
“If you’re going to be ruthless to be elite you’ve got to make hard decisions.
“That’s a decision (on Wingard) that’s up to our list managers.
“I don’t think any decisions have been made about anybody, and I don’t want to speculate on any individual players.”
Koch conceded Polec has attracted interest from rival clubs.
“Jared has been really sought after by interstate clubs and we’ve got to weigh up what we’re able to pay in the mix of other players’ contracts and Jared, quite rightly, has got to weigh up his future.”
Wingard has used Twitter to dismiss trade speculation, while Polec is widely believed to be on the verge of signing a lucrative, long-term deal with North Melbourne.
Koch said a review of the whole club’s operations and culture started with a meeting with coach Ken Hinkley, football boss Chris Davies and chief executive Keith Thomas the morning after Essendon snuffed out the Power’s slim finals chances in round 23.
The chairman foreshadowed changes at board level, a toughening up of pre-season training and a revamp of Hinkley’s game plan, which he said had broken down.
“If we don’t make finals it’s a failure and we’ve got to figure out how we get out of that ‘death zone’ between seventh down to probably 13th (on the ladder),” he said.
“We’re mediocre … we’ve got to have a ruthlessness that wins close games.
“You can make all the excuses under the sun about some late injuries or some really close games, but the fact is we weren’t good enough and we’ve got to try to figure out how we get good enough.
“There’s a great old saying in professional sports that good teams win games, great organisations win premierships.
“So we’ve got to have a look at our organisation from top to bottom.”
Having been bundled out of the 2017 finals in extraordinary circumstances following a Luke Shuey goal after the siren in extra time, Port Adelaide aggressively hit the trade and free agency period, looking to enhance their 2018 squad as they searched for their first finals victory since 2014.
After Port Adelaide acquired Tom Rockliff, Steven Motlop, and Jack Watts in last year’s trade period, thereby essentially trading out of the draft (first selection came at pick 44), it was clear that the club was loading up for a finals tilt.