Wingard has taken aim at Port greats for saying the Power’s leaders “complained about me being a sook”.
“To read and hear those things hurt a lot,” Wingard wrote in a column published today on the AFL Players’ Association website.
After Wingard was traded to Hawthorn, former Port captain Warren Tredrea said he understood the Power’s “leadership group were sick of him, sick of his attitude”.
And Kane Cornes, a four-time club champion at Port, said Wingard was “feeling not a lot of love at Port Adelaide”, adding the move to Hawthorn was an “easy out for him.”
After hearing those comments, Wingard phoned Port coach Ken Hinkley.
“I rang Ken to see if there was any truth to that and he told me that nothing had come from the club, there was no truth to it, and that’s just how the media want to play things,” Wingard wrote.
“If you have seen the coverage in Adelaide, it has been a bunch of lies and a lack of understanding.
“Just because a deal like this has gone through, it doesn’t mean they have to jump to conclusions and reach for the negative angle.”
Wingard denied his post-season exit meeting with Hinkley was heated.
“I went away from that meeting still thinking I was going to be a Port Adelaide player next season,” he wrote.
“Following on from the discussions and the exit meetings, they let my manager know that they were open to trading me if a suitable offer came forward.
“I was completely taken back and upset with that initially. It rocked me, but the longer I thought about it, the more I began to understand.”
Wingard said even after meeting with rival clubs, he believed he would remain at Port.
“Meeting with other clubs … I actually told Kenny that I felt like I was cheating on a girlfriend,” he wrote.
“It just wasn’t a great feeling and I didn’t enjoy it but things started to move quickly and the opportunity at Hawthorn came up.
“I started to have doubts as to whether I was wanted at Port because, as you can imagine, getting your name thrown up for a trade isn’t exactly the best feeling.”
Help our journalists uncover the facts
In times like these InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to donate to InDaily.