Port players and coaches back Hinkley

PORT Adelaide assistant Chad Cornes denies an element of staleness has crept in under Ken Hinkley, saying the club remains 100 per cent behind the embattled AFL coach.

The Power’s finals hopes were officially extinguished on Saturday when they suffered a six-point loss to Collingwood.

Eight of Port’s 11 losses this season have been by 14 points or less, with the Power’s latest defeat leaving them in 12th spot with an 8-11 record.

Chad Cornes looks on during round 10, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Port supporters have aired their frustrations at the failed season, with much of the heat directed towards Hinkley.

But the players and coaches remain united behind Hinkley, who is contracted for next year.

“We’re 100 per cent behind him,” Cornes told reporters on Monday.

“We understand the supporters’ frustration. I get that more than anyone, having been here for over 20 years.

“We expect to win here, it’s not good enough when we don’t.

“But just so the (supporters) know, we are looking at everything, assessing every area of the program to make sure we’re getting back to where we need to be.”

Port Adelaide players look dejected after a loss during round 2, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Hinkley has been at the helm since 2013, with the Power playing in five finals campaigns and reaching three preliminary finals during that stretch.

Cornes conceded the players’ current skill levels are at an unacceptable level, but said they remained motivated under Hinkley to keep improving.

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“I don’t get that sense that it’s stale,” Cornes said.

“The attitude’s really good. They do train harder in-season than any other group I’ve been with.

“There’s no staleness or anything like that.

“It’s just the inconsistency and the basic skill level are areas we really need to address.

“Some of the turnovers we produced on the weekend weren’t up to AFL standard.”

Cornes said star midfielder Travis Boak, who injured his hand against the Magpies, had been cleared to play in Saturday night’s clash with Richmond at Adelaide Oval.

Meanwhile, Port president David Koch has hit out at Collingwood after the Power’s request to wear the club’s traditional prison bars jumpers in the final-round Showdown against Adelaide was denied.

“It is really disappointing. I think a bit disrespectful to our history and disrespectful to our members as well,” Koch told FIVEaa.

“Two weeks ago the Collingwood president Jeff Browne rang me out of the blue and said, ‘Kochie mate, we’re taking your request really seriously, we understand how important it is to your members.I’ve been canvassing opinions in Melbourne and SA and I’m putting it to my board and I don’t want to get your hopes up but I’m quietly confident we could have good news for you’.

“I’m fuming because we have done the right thing, just quietly gone about it, and I can’t help feel that good nature has been played.”

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Port players and coaches back Hinkley

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