PORT Adelaide finally got its man yesterday. Former Geelong star Ken Hinkley will be introduced as its new coach on Monday.
Port will also name Alan Richardson as the club’s first director of coaching, and the return of Darren Burgess as fitness coach after a stint at English Premier League club Liverpool.
The appointments, which were reported in The Age earlier this week, were confirmed yesterday.
Hinkley and Hawthorn assistant Leon Cameron were first choices on the list of current assistant coaches, but when Cameron pulled out of the race by joining Greater Western Sydney, Port poured all of its efforts into securing Hinkley. The only doubt was whether he would be prepared to uproot his family again after moving to the Gold Coast as an assistant to Guy McKenna two years ago.
Hinkley, 46, will be perceived by some as the only man prepared to coach Port, but the club could not be happier and he joins it with an impressive background as a quality player with Fitzroy and Geelong, and assistant coaching roles at St Kilda, Geelong, Collingwood and Gold Coast.
The appointment of Richardson and tangible resources for its football department should give Port a good chance of developing a squad that will be far more competitive at AFL level.
Richardson, who missed playing in Collingwood’s 1990 premiership side because of injury, has a wealth of coaching experience at VFA level with Coburg, and as an assistant in the AFL with the Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, Essendon and Carlton.
Hinkley was also strongly considered by Adelaide before it appointed Brenton Sanderson and he joins Port with a glowing endorsement from Gold Coast board member and coaching director Malcolm Blight.
Given Port’s plight in recent years, replacing Mark Williams and Matthew Primus as coaches, dismal form, off-field dramas, financial problems and the tragic death of John McCarthy, Hinkley is taking on arguably the toughest coaching challenge in the AFL.
It is believed Hinkley has the football knowledge and coaching ability to lift Port, and also the character to help its players move forward.
He will be the first non-Port person to be appointed as coach of the club.
The fresh approach is sure to be widely accepted and coincides with Port resolving many of its financial problems, the appointment of a new chief executive, Keith Thomas, who has handled the recent crises well, the shake-up of the board with David Koch as new chairman, and the lead-up to the move to the Adelaide Oval, which many predict will secure Port’s long-term future.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.