Ken Hinkley says he’s both daunted and excited to be appointed coach of Port Adelaide for the next four AFL seasons.
“For a first-time AFL coach, it’s daunting whichever club it is,” Hinkley told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.
“I have been through a number of processes to try and achieve this result for myself as a coach and I’m really excited by it.”
Hinkley, 46, joins Port from the Gold Coast Suns where he had been an assistant coach since 2010.
Also a former assistant coach at Geelong and St Kilda, Hinkley had been overlooked in the past by other clubs seeking head coaches.
Hinkley won the Port job after other candidates including sacked Carlton coach Brett Ratten and new Greater Western Sydney assistant Leon Cameron withdrew from the selection process.
“Never was there a doubt that I wanted to be an AFL coach,” Hinkley said.
“I have been through a very long journey and am really passionate about getting the opportunity because I have great belief in what, perhaps, I am able to do.
“It’s an incredibly exciting day for me to be given the opportunity after a really long apprenticeship, to get my opportunity as a coach in my own right of an AFL football club.”
Ex-Carlton assistant Alan Richardson was announced as Port’s director of coaching and strategy while the Power has also lured back high performance manager Darren Burgess from English soccer club Liverpool.
“As a combined group, we think this is a very, very significant statement of intent for the Port Adelaide footy club,” Port chief executive Keith Thomas told reporters.
“These guys … will add immediate value to a playing group that is desperate for success, keen to learn, and wanting to build their own piece of history.”
Port, who haven’t played finals since 2007, parted ways with their previous coach Matthew Primus with four rounds remaining of the 2012 season.
Hinkley, who played 132 AFL games at Fitzroy and Geelong from 1987 to 1995, said he couldn’t guarantee a quick fix.
“This club is in a renewal stage, there is no doubt about that,” he said.
“We know what we have got to do and we know where we have got to go.
“It’s a pretty simple recipe that you want – it’s stability, it’s confidence in what you do, and it’s trust.”