Ken Hinkley, future, Port Adelaide Power, Gold Coast Suns, Ben Dixon, First Crack, Stuart Dew, expiry date, contract, talks


Ken Hinkley would have a better long-term future as coach if he moved to the Gold Coast, Fox Footy’s Ben Dixon believes as the contract wait rolls on at Port Adelaide.

The Power have made no secret of their decision to wait until August to address Hinkley’s future, with the coach out of contract at the end of this season.

Speaking on First Crack, Dixon said he thinks Hinkley could end up with a more secure future if he became the replacement for sacked Suns’ coach Stuart Dew.

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“I just think the Kenny novel, everyone thinks they’ve read it – I think it’s got a few twist or turns in it,” he said.

“There’s plenty of talk around Damien Hardwick but I just want to focus on Ken and his contract and what it presents.

“This is my own opinion … I’m not privy to where his contract negotiations are at – I just think the fact Ken has seen the good bad and ugly with Port Adelaide. Last year was ugly, this year it’s fantastic, it’s not good, it’s great.

Suns shine in first game since sacking | 00:54

“He knows the highs and lows … he is Kenny power right now. He’s the superhero so he decides his fate.”

Dixon said his fear was Hinkley could be forced out of Port Adelaide if they don’t succeed next year – but he has room to grow at the Suns.

“If it turns sour at the end of next year (at Port) or mid-next year, his head’s on the chopping block again,” he warned.

“He’s showed his worth.

“I just think the Gold Coast, in my opinion, presents such a better option for Ken as a long-term coach.

“I truly believe he has got everything out of this group (at the Power) and we’re seeing the ceiling right now.”

Dixon said regardless of what Hinkley decided for his future, he called on the Port mentor to wait until after the grand final to make the call.

Recent coaching trends show 11 years is the “expiry date” for a lot of coaches, with the likes of premiership winners Mark Thompson (2000-10), Paul Roos (2002-10), Alastair Clarkson (2005-21) and Damien Hardwick (2010-23) all falling close to that date range.

Port Adelaide Press Conference | 06:10

Fellow First Crack panellist David King believed success was closer for Port Adelaide, and could be enough to entice Hinkley to stay.

“Does he have more opportunity at Port Adelaide in the next two to three years than he does at the Gold Coast,” he said.

“I think this young midfield is only getting better.

“If it was a three-year deal on adequate money with bonus’ built in … then I don’t see any reason why you’d want to leave.”

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