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Port talks tough on Hinkley as speculation grows

Football

Port Adelaide continues to insist coach Ken Hinkley is not on the market, despite reports today that he has asked the Power to release him from the final year of his contract.

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The Australian reported today that the Port hierarchy has failed to convince Hinkley to stay, with Gold Coast offering him a long-term contract via his manager.

The situation may become clearer late this afternoon, when Hinkley is due to be interviewed FIVEaa’s sports program. If the interview goes ahead, it will be the first time the Power coach has spoken publicly in a week.

A Port Adelaide spokesperson told InDaily today that the club’s position had not changed since Friday, when it insisted Hinkley was under contract until the end of 2018 “and is not on the market”.

Hinkley is at the club’s Alberton base today conducting his season review. The club says that after the review is completed, it will open contract discussions with the coach.

The Australian’s report today suggests Hinkley wants out at least partly due to a deteriorating relationship with Port president David Koch, who criticised players and questioned selections after the Power’s heartbreaking elimination final loss to West Coast.

Former Port star turned commentator Kane Cornes also suggested today that the relationship was under strain.

Port Adelaide told the Suns early last week that Hinkley is off limits.

But as Gold Coast continue their search for a new coach, they made a speculative call to Hinkley’s manager.

While the Power would probably extend Hinkley’s contract by two years, the Suns are understood to be standing by with a five-year offer. Hinkley knows the Gold Coast well: he was an assistant coach there from 2010 to 2012 before joining Port.

There is enough uncertainty about Hinkley’s future that Sydney assistant coach Stuart Dew reportedly postponed an interview with Gold Coast.

It is understood that Dew remains a candidate for the Suns senior coaching position, but he apparently wants to see what happens with Hinkley first.

Adding to the dramas at Port Adelaide, player Nathan Krakouer is in trouble after a Saturday night incident where the AFL defender damaged a taxi.

Krakouer, who has not played any AFL matches this season, is on a one-year contract that is unlikely to be renewed.

The club released a statement, saying Krakouer had agreed to pay for the damages and had apologised.

The Power added that Krakouer will front their player leadership group in the next fortnight.

According to media reports, he became angry and lashed out when his credit card was declined several times as he tried to pre-pay for a fare.

– with AAP

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