Hartlett, a member of the Power’s leadership group, believes he still has much to offer at AFL level.
But Port coach Ken Hinkley disagrees, telling Hartlett the club doesn’t believe the 31-year-old can keep pace with the modern game.
“He doesn’t physically think that I can keep up with the demands of the game, particularly in the position I play at half-back against some players that are quite lively,” Hartlett told SEN SA radio on Tuesday.
“Also, with the development of some of our younger guys coming through … he doesn’t feel like there’s a position on the list for me anymore.
“I didn’t necessarily agree with them. But I can understand the angle that they’re coming from.
“No bad blood. I have got nothing but love for that footy club.”
Hartlett – Port’s highest-ever draft pick, No.4 in 2008 – had knee surgery during a season when he featured just 10 times for the Power.
He didn’t play in Port’s finals campaign which ended with a 71-point preliminary final loss to the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.
The 198-gamer said he would explore playing on at another club.
“I firmly believe I’m capable of playing good AFL footy,” he said.
“I’m more than happy to explore any option.”
Local News Matters
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