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Ken Hinkley's position is safe, insists Koch

Football

Port Adelaide president David Koch feels the pain of his AFL club’s fans but says coach Ken Hinkley is safe in the job.

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Koch last season extended Hinkley’s contract to the end of the 2021 season but Port’s supporter base is increasingly restless amid a dramatic slide from finals contention.

“I can absolutely say there is no question about the future of Ken Hinkley whatsoever,” Koch told radio station FIVEaa today.

Port were on track to make the finals with 11 wins and four losses but have lost five of their past six games to need a football miracle to reach the playoffs.

The ninth-placed Power can only make the finals if they beat Essendon on Friday night and eighth-placed Geelong lose at home to lowly Gold Coast – and overturn a sizeable percentage deficit.

Numerous Port supporters took to social media after Saturday’s capitulation to Collingwood declaring they won’t renew their memberships should Hinkley remain as coach.

“I think Ken is the best coach for the Port Adelaide Football Club,” Koch said.

“At 11-4, Ken was seen as a superhero. Then everyone changes their mind so quickly.

“That is the brutality of the AFL at the moment, it is such a finely-tuned competition.

“The last six weeks have been disappointing.

“(Vice-captain) Ollie Wines put it right when he said he’s a little embarrassed by the past six weeks … we have all had a tough period.”

But Koch backed the judgement of the club’s hierarchy which extended Hinkley’s contract, saying any successful club showed stability.

“I just remind people of the cycles that clubs go through in terms of just trying to find the magic of a successful season,” he said.

“It boils down to a lot of situations … you have got to battle through that and believe in yourself.

“That’s not to say you bury your head in the sand … you have got to be ruthless to be elite.

“Don’t think that the entire club … don’t think that they’re not disappointed with the last six weeks and feel the pain of every member.”

– AAP

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