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Power outage: Carlile joins Port exodus

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The post-season exodus at Port Adelaide has continued today with key defender Alipate Carlile opting to retire after 167 games – only hours after the club wielded the axe, delisting fringe players John Butcher, Kane Mitchell and Sam Colquhoun.

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Just 29 years old, the once-durable backman managed only two senior games in a 2016 season cruelled by injuries – first to his wrist and then a posterior cruciate ligament ruptured in the SANFL.

Carlile, who debuted in 2006 and was made a Port Adelaide life member last year, said in a statement: “Port Adelaide gave me an opportunity back in 2005 and I’m really lucky to play my whole career at this club.”

“To be a one-club player, have 100 games and my name on the locker – it’s all really significant to me,” he said.

“It’s been a bit disappointing – the injuries – but it’s helped me transition into life after football… Kenny [coach Ken Hinkley] and I had a real honest chat about it and we both walked out the room smiling, because we both knew it was the right decision.”

Hinkley said ‘Bobby’ Carlile was “one of those characters who you love having around your footy club”.

“He’s always got a smile on his face, but he works just as hard to get the most out of himself,” he said.

“To see him play some of his best footy for Port Adelaide in the last couple of years is something I reckon most people would have been really happy with, for me it has definitely been a highlight.”

Carlile may have walked out with a smile, but it was a different story for former top-10 draft pick John Butcher, one of three players delisted by the club late yesterday.

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John Butcher’s time is up at Alberton. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

The Power also confirmed last night that former Geelong champion Garry Hocking would leave Ken Hinkley’s coaching panel after seven years at Alberton.

Port held high hopes for Butcher – ironically nicknamed ‘The Future’ as a forward-line beacon in Port’s lean years – when they selected him eighth overall at the 2009 draft, but the key forward never managed more than eight games a season.

He played 31 games, just three of those this year, and was delisted along with Kane Mitchell and Sam Colquhoun.

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Kane Mitchell, retained this year as a rookie, has been delisted. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

“It’s a difficult time of year when the club needs to make decisions for its short and long-term future regarding our football structure,” Port Adelaide’s football chief Chris Davies said.

“John, Kane and Sam have given great service to our club and we wish them all the best with their futures.

“Garry’s tenure at the club has been the most significant of our coaching panel. We thank him for his work since 2010 as a development, line coach and Magpies coach for two seasons.”

AFL Season 2015, Round 15, Port Adelaide, Collingwood

One-time acting senior coach Garry Hocking is moving on. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

Former coaching director Shaun Hart has been assigned to the new role of director of academies, and will oversee Port Adelaide’s next-generation academy programs.

The Power also confirmed first-year strength and conditioning coach Mladen Jovanovic has returned to Serbia for family reasons.

Longtime spearhead Jay Schulz was last week moved on by the Power ahead of his final game. He is looking for potential suitors to continue his career elsewhere.

Meanwhile, key defender Logan Austin has undergone surgery after fracturing his ankle against Gold Coast on Saturday.

Austin, who played 11 games in his debut AFL season for the Power, is expected to resume running in six weeks, while Cam O’Shea will be out for a month after having hip surgery.

Forward Chad Wingard (finger), Jack Hombsch (hip), Dougal Howard (ACL) and Alipate Carlile (PCL) are also recovering from injuries, and all but Howard are expected to resume full training when Port Adelaide return in November.

-AAP

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