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Port planning on Paddy for Showdown

Football

Port Adelaide are gearing up to have star ruckman Paddy Ryder and key defender Tom Jonas back for their AFL round 20 Showdown with the Crows.

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Power coach Ken Hinkley has revealed the pair are a chance for this Sunday’s game in Ballarat against the Western Bulldogs.

But the most likely scenario is they are given another week to ensure they are available for what shapes as a season-defining match against their arch-rivals on Saturday, August 4.

Port have blown an opportunity to consolidate a top-four spot with consecutive losses to Fremantle and Greater Western Sydney dropping them to fifth.

But Hinkley has no doubt his team will return to their best when All-Australian Ryder (hip) and Jonas (knee) are back in the team.

“We haven’t put a line through him (Ryder) totally for this week.

“But the likelihood is he won’t play this week but we’d expect him to play the following week,” Hinkley told SEN Radio’s Whateley.

“We certainly do rely a lot on Paddy. We’ve also had Jonas out the last couple of weeks as well.

“We’re not dissimilar to any team. We’re talking about the Giants now who are getting going and it’s no secret they’re starting to get their personnel back.

“We’re having our time where we’re without some key personnel out and that’s the key part of it, the type of personnel you’re missing.”

Hinkley hit back at claims from former Sydney and Melbourne coach Paul Roos that the Power are “almost the biggest underachieving footy team” of the past five years.

“We’re not hiding away from the fact that we wish we were doing better than we have been,” Hinkley said.

“In the last five years we’ve made the finals a number of times, we’ve made a prelim final and haven’t been able to complete the task.

“But we haven’t probably been as good as the best teams in the competition in any of those years.”

– AAP

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