Ask The Coach – Port Adelaide

Written by Schwarzwalder on March 4 2019

(Written & Created By Natopotato88)

Hinkley under pressure in 2019?


Coming up to the halfway mark of the #AskTheCoach series and this video was an annoying one to find after the AFL twitter page forgot the hashtag on it. So, we have Ken Hinkley and his Port Power and hopefully he can give some good answers in his short 2 minute video.


“How do you plan to inject more pace into our game structure after trading out some of our fastest players?”

This is not the most relevant question, but it is the players that he names which helps give some information to us coaches. Hinkley named Burton, Duursma, Butters and Rozee.  Three of these players are rookies and he then says that “you will be excited to see them play and you won’t think we have lost any speed when you see those players on the park.” It is the last part of the answer which shows promise, as how he answers the question, seems to show that these rookies will get a chance to play this season.

Even though Burton is not a rookie he is priced at 357k, which is a good mid-price value and for Burton to use his speed, wouldn’t he have to be playing as a half-back role? Therefore, taking out the idea of him playing as more of a lockdown defender. In the first few rounds last year Burton was playing at CHB, playing on Menzel and Townsend scoring 58 and 41.

That takes him out of the SuperCoach frame if he is played there again and shows he doesn’t belong there. In 2017 however, Burton was the runner-up to the Rising Star finishing with an average of 83.7 from 20 games. Last year, he averaged 65.7 from 21 games, why did this happen? Sure, he was played at CHB for a few games, but I believe it was Sicily that made the difference. In 2017 Sicily was switching between forward and back, until towards the end of the season Sicily began scoring well, playing more in the backline. So, for 2018, Sicily was played as more of a 7th defender taking more marks and being used more as an outlet.

I believe, this took the scoring away from Burton and gave his score a negative impact. Now he has moved to the Power, will Burton become more relevant producing premium scores with the fire in his belly from being traded? Or will Burton stay at that awkward mid-price mark as it is a season too early, as he tries to fit into a new club environment?


For the rookies, surely one of them has to make it into the starting team, as Port need the pace on the field. Duursma is probably the player we are wanting more just because of his price tag. The 131k MID/DEF averaged 22.8 disposals and 5.2 tackles during the TAC Cup and has been showing some real good signs of a Rd 1 debut during the preseason. In the club’s intra club match just a week ago, reports were saying his pace and ball use could give him a spot on the wing, as Jared Polec’s departure to North Melbourne. This is good news for us Coaches, so hopefully he can keep this form up during the JLT.

For Butters, he is a 158k midfielder that was selected at  #12 at last year’s Draft. Butters hasn’t had the talk up like the other rookies at Port and has come off a shoulder surgery last year. It shouldn’t affect him in any way, but be weary as this could make him slightly underdone. I would put him at the back of the list for these 3 rookie choices.

The final rookie is Rozee, who is priced at 189k and has a DPP status of DEF/FWD, starred in Port’s intra-club match. This has strengthened his chances for a Rd1 debut with how well he has adapted to AFL level. He’s been training in a more half-forward role with the club and played there in the simulation match, but is definitely capable to take a position on the wing. Rozee is looking almost set to make a debut in Rd1, however that price tag can be quite a turn off. Will Rozee be able to score enough every week to make us good cash or will he be a slow burner and disappoint many coaches?

Sorry……wrong Hoff 😉


“Will Westhoff be spending more time up forward?”

Finally, onto the next question! Westhoff has been playing in almost every position under the sun for Port last year. Surely, he will be given a set role/position this year. Hinkley says that they “can settle Hoff down a little bit.” This would be done by removing him from the ruck, due to Lycett coming into the team, while still having Ryder play more as a forward. Hinkley finishes off the question by giving a guess on his time allocation in certain roles, by saying “probably 50/50 between midfield and forward.”

By taking Westhoff out of the ruck, how much will this be an effect to his scoring? Surely, this means less time around the ball and when he plays in the midfield, does he end up playing on the wing? Also, looking at his price tag for this year at 549k, Westhoff is over-priced as he never reached that price last year, only getting to 540k and that had a score of 147 in it.

The way he scored for the year however, was interesting too, by scoring 10 tonnes for the year, but then scoring 10 scores under 90 with only 2 in between. Of those tonnes 8 were 110+ with a 140 and 147 and his lowest score being a 73. It shows Westhoff was quite consistent with his scoring, but he is also quite consistent in matches played. He has not missed a game since 2013 and it was due to suspension, so the last time he missed a game was the 2011 season.

So, what do you guys think of Westhoff? Is he worth a start, due to his reliability and the fact he should play every game and have you not waste a trade? Or should you set him as a wait and see upgrade target, to see how his role plays out this year?

The one and only Hoff 😉


“What are your plans for Joel Garner this year? Do you see him making an AFL debut?”

“Garner has had a really strong preseason.” This was the first thing said out of Hinkley’s mouth, which shows good signs. The club also got his shoulder fixed last year, so he would be right for pre-season and not have to worry about a modified program. This gives signs they really like him as they were thinking for his future with the club.

Hinkley mentions some of his attributes and then finishes it off with, “hopefully he gets some opportunities this year.” He is priced at 124k as a defender and it is his 2nd season at the club, so he got to play some games in the SANFL last year before his shoulder injury. I feel he won’t get a chance at a Rd1 debut, with all those other rookies impressing, but hopefully he will make a good downgrade mid-season.


“Is Robbie Gray going back to the midfield role he had at the start of last year with Wingard moving on?”

With no time to waste, Hinkley is straight into saying “Robbie will spend time in the midfield.” Great exactly what we want to hear, but of course he didn’t finish and follows up with “and he will certainly spend time in the forward line.” This is because he is “too dangerous in both spots.”

The aim of Hinkley and the club, is to try and get the most penetration out of Gray and that gives indication, that he will be played where he is needed the most. So, if the forward line is lacking, he will probably be first there to support it and same goes for the midfield. Also, be aware of knee soreness with Gray, as he may be touch-and-go for a Rd1 start, so it may be best to treat him as an upgrade target.


“How’s Rocky tracking this summer?”

What would the interview be without a question on our favourite burn man Rockliff! At 406k how could you leave a talent like Rocky out of your team?  Hinkley says he has had a really great summer and is looking good for this season. Ah the positives, what more do you need? Join the other 4% of coaches that own him. You know what he can produce so what is holding you back? The year is 2014 for Rocky and he is expecting just another lazy 132 average, just you watch! 😉

Will he ever be SC-relevant again?

**Nato on Twitter: @natopotato88**


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8 thoughts on “Ask The Coach – Port Adelaide”

  1. Thanks Nato.

    Do we trust an under pressure Hickey to stick with the rookies when things start to fall apart?!? I like what I see, but I’m worried about JS.


  2. Funny how a single JLT game can change perceptions so much. Butters was by far the standout of the rookies on the weekend and Duursma started really well and is likely to play based on his role. It was Rozee who struggled against the crows and just couldnt seem to get his hands on the ball. Reckon he’s going to struggle at score at times this year even if hes playing.

    Personally I see them all lining up round 1. S gray is likely to lose his spot to Butters and rozee and duurmsa are good replacements for wingard and Polec. Drew is likely to replace wines too but who knows if he can hold his place in the team.


    1. Hoping Duursma gets to hold a spot out of these rookies, just because he is the cheapest. It would be great if the others got a game round 1 too, but I just can’t back them at that price.


  3. *Port Adelaide

    Please change this from Port Power to Port Adelaide, and I’ll give you guys some inside word 🙂

    P.S is Omen, Big Sexy and PA still around these days?


    1. Don’t go anywhere near Ollie Wines. He’s going to be sore, and probably in a lot of pain this year (especially if opposition players target his bung shoulder) I doubt he’ll step up another level this year. I also imagine he’ll be rested here and there throughout the year. A part of me believes had he done the same injury a couple months into the season, they would have pulled the pin on his season and started to prepare him for 2020, as Port are somewhat confident they won’t be making top 4 this year (however people within the club do think they can prove a few people wrong and make finals)

      Rockliff on the other hand, may actually be worth a punt (I know this is a bit of a meme, but hear me out) He’s actually had a pretty strong preseason, much better than last years. Is in really good knick. Might very well fill the Ollie Wines hole in the midfield.

      Drew is someone you should just about go ahead and lock into your side. The coaches all love him. He’s the perfect replacement for Ollie Wines come round 1. He’s also super cheap and DPP.

      Plenty of Port rookies will get a go. Hinkley has been criticized for handing out too many ‘gold passes’ to certain mature players. Guys like Sam Gray, Darcy Byrne Jones and Jack Watts will all play a fair bit of SANFL this year, it looks like. New midfield coach Schofield is really keen to get some youth through the 22. I can see Butters, Rozee and Duursma all being named round 1. The club are delighted with their three first rounders. Butters is already a favourite. The club think Rozee will be an elite player in three/four years time. And Duursma is the kind of guy who could be anything (Dare I say, Fyfe) Woodcock also might get a game, later on in the year though. Tobin Cox also feels like a dark horse to me. Still really raw, but a great natural footballer. He’s strong through the core and overhead for a small forward, and may pop up in the best 22 if there are a few injuries, and if Port struggle to find a dangerous small forward who functions well with Dixon, Marshall and co. Patmore and Garner are another two who will probably debut this year.

      Wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Houston step up another level and become elite. Something must have changed for him in 2018, as halfway through the year it seemed like he was destined to return to Victoria (his choice, not the clubs) but ended up finishing the year really strongly, polling well in the BNF and signing a new deal with the club. Lienert has also had a strong preason, and seems like the prototype modern day defender. Good height, quick enough, strong and a booming left foot.

      A lot of players are fighting for positions across halfback. Bonner might be pushed up to a wing. Same goes for Burton (coaches still aren’t sure where to play him as of right now. He’s spent time up forward, in the middle, and down back throughout preseason. I’d avoid him this year) Broadbent could very well be an option. He’s awkwardly priced though, and may not appear round 1. Same goes for Hartlett.

      Boak will play a lot of time in the middle. Same goes for Gray. The club believes the 6-6-6 rule change really benefits them, having two very decent ruckman and strong clearance players.

      Powell Pepper has had an unbelievable preseason, although I’ve already spoken about this before. You’d have to be a brave man to pick him though. Dougal Howard is the other one who has killed it, but he’s not really SC relevant.

      Young ruckman Sam Hayes is going to be a star (avoiding in serious injuries in the future) according to people around the club. Port feel blessed to have had him fall to pick 50 something a couple years back, when he’s a top 10 talent. He’s added weight and muscle to his frame really easily, and he may have even played some AFL football last year had he not done his knee (which apparently was due to some hereditary birth defect, or so I’m told) If Lycett or Ryder get injured towards the back end of the year, he may get a couple games.


      1. Just to address one thing here, Lienert is a right footer and pretty atrocious on his opposite leg. Personally not sold on him personally, would probably be happier if I saw more defensive attributes in him but it appears he’s more offensive off halfback which we dont need with Burton, Hartlett, Broadbent, bonner etc all providing.

        Lienert will score well though in sc because of his penchant for going long, and kicking rather than handballing. Which we saw last year.



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