Power coach Ken Hinkley during Port Adelaide’s Round 1 win over Gold Coast. Picture: Darren England (AAP).
Power coach Ken Hinkley during Port Adelaide’s Round 1 win over Gold Coast. Picture: Darren England (AAP).

‘Not about me or us’: Hinkley

PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says his contract status, a date for the Power to return to training and how or when the AFL season resumes is all secondary to the world's fight to stop the coronavirus spread and save lives.

In an interview with ABC Grandstand on Saturday, Hinkley was quizzed on his players returning to the club, playing in state-based quarantine hubs and whether the finals-or-bust trigger clause in his contract was impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

The eighth-year coach said while his club, its coaches and players were operating as best they can in a business-as-usual approach in isolation, the only thing that mattered right now was stopping the virus which is killing thousands of people around the world.

"I don't have anything to add to that (coaching future) other than right now this is not about any person, it's about the team, the club, the competition and about everyone else," Hinkley said.

"We will do everything we can to get the season up and going and we'll work damn hard to be as good as we can and the results will take care of things.

"Every club will be doing what they can to get back as soon as they can, but you will do that at the advice of the Federal Government and State Governments and the World Health Organisation will tell you when you can and can't do those sort of things.

"We won't be taking any risks as any AFL club or sporting club in the world woudn't be, we are part of the world and want to be playing with the world.

"We haven't been informed too much (about quarantine hubs) other than through the AFL they are investigating all the options to start the season safely and in the most appropriate time.

"All the things that we know is we will wait until the end of April for an update on where they see the progress of the season and from there we'll be ready to go as soon as we need to be.

"This is not just a football challenge it's an everyone challenge, a country and world challenge where unemployment is an issue.

"But the biggest issue is this battle to get this virus under control so we can save lives."

 

Hinkley says he is as excited by Port Adelaide’s crop of kids this year as he was by the likes of Rozee, Butters and Duursma last season. Picture: Chris Hyde (Getty).
Hinkley says he is as excited by Port Adelaide’s crop of kids this year as he was by the likes of Rozee, Butters and Duursma last season. Picture: Chris Hyde (Getty).

In a wide-ranging interview, Hinkley also said:

■ IT WAS not wise for people to make assumptions about returning to football without all the expert medical advice.

"Without speculating I'm not qualified to even give an opinion on that, anyone who hasn't got the knowledge of what's going on out there in the world of health at the moment shouldn't be putting a date or a name or a number out there for anyone to expect the game to get going.

"All I know is the AFL will do everything they can to start the game up in a safe and healthy environment."

■ HE found the 14-day home isolation period after the Power's Round 1 win over Gold Coast refreshing.

"I shouldn't say this in the time of troubles that we have at the moment but I found it quite refreshing to have some quiet time at this time of year, I always says when I do get home it's a safe haven for me so I enjoyed it was just (wife) Donna and myself.

"We missed the kids, that was the hardest part, we have a grandson we couldn't see for 14 days so they're some of the challenges.

"But for me to sit in the office and spend time reviewing football without being distracted was manageable but 14 days was enough."

■ MIDFIELDER Ollie Wines would be ready to go when the season resumes after recovering from shoulder surgery.

"Depending on where it's all at, like every club there is some opportunities for some injured players to get back and not miss too many games of football.

"We've got Ollie, we had Brad (Ebert) hurt his knee in Round 1, Hamish (Hartlett) do his quad and Willem Drew, Riley Grundy, some people had injuries at this stage of the season will be optimistic about starting up when the season starts."

■ HE is as excited by the likes of Mitch Georgiades and this year's crop of draftees as he was by what Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma did last season.

"We're in a really good spot and there are some (others like) Dylan Williams, Miles Bergman, Jackson Mead, Trent Burgoyne and Jake Pasini as well are some really exciting young players have come into the club again this year.

"I know the noise last year around the three boys who played a lot of football ... but I'm equally as excited by the youth that Parks (Geoff Parker) and Crippa (Jason Cripps) have managed to bring in for us this year."

■ HE is not fearful for the future of veteran players on the list if the entire season is wiped out.

"It's hard to know because there won't be a perfect answer for everyone but you would suspect most of the boys in AFL football would get themselves in really good condition and as long as they maintain some of the things that are key to their games.

"Use Trav (Boak) as an example, he's still got his speed and his run and he's as powerful as he's ever been you can't imagine that disappearing any time quickly."

reece.homfray@news.com.au

Originally published as 'Not about me or us': Hinkley



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