In a statement this afternoon, Port Adelaide said it “is aware Gold Coast Suns chief executive Mark Evans placed a speculative phone call to Ken Hinkley’s manager Peter Blucher regarding Hinkley’s coaching future”.
However, the club advised the Suns that Hinkley is under contract until the end of 2018 “and is not on the market”.
“The club is still conducting its 2017 season review following Saturday night’s elimination final loss to West Coast,” the club said.
“Port Adelaide will resume contract discussions with Hinkley and his manager on completion of the review.”
Chairman David Koch told FIVEaa this week the club would talk to Hinkley “over the summer” about extending his tenure.
“My job is to try and make Ken Hinkley a 10-year-coach and give him all the resources to be that,” Koch said on Monday.
However, interest from Gold Coast – where Hinkley previously worked as an assistant coach – is intriguing given Koch’s outspoken comments after Port’s last-gasp finals heartbreak last weekend, when he appeared to criticise the players’ drive and the team selection strategy.
“We played a young side… jury’s out whether we should have,” Koch told supporters in post-match remarks that have been widely criticised by AFL insiders.
Port CEO Keith Thomas told Fairfax this week that, if asked by his Suns counterpart Mark Evans, he would refuse him permission to approach Hinkley.
Sydney assistant and former Port star Stuart Dew and Carlton’s John Barker have also reportedly been sounded out by the Suns, who parted ways with coach Rodney Eade last month.
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