Ken Hinkley insists he didn’t become Port Adelaide coach by default.
Hinkley rejected suggestions that he will coach Port for the next four AFL seasons only because other candidates didn’t want the job.
“Sometimes these things happen and there is a reason for some people to come out at the top at the right time,” Hinkley told reporters when his appointment was announced on Monday.
“People have said ‘last man standing’ – I have heard those comments.
“Maybe I was the right man standing.”
Hinkley joins Port from the Gold Coast Suns, where he was an assistant coach for the past three years after previous assistant roles at St Kilda and Geelong.
Port, who haven’t played finals since 2007 and receive financial hand-outs from the AFL to stay afloat, wanted to appoint Leon Cameron as their head coach but he chose an assistant role at Greater Western Sydney instead.
Others on Port’s wish-list, including West Coast assistant Scott Burns, didn’t want to apply for the position.
And others still, including sacked Carlton coach Brett Ratten and Collingwood’s senior coaching strategist Rodney Eade, withdrew their bids.
Hinkley, overlooked by several other clubs in the past, said being named Port coach achieved a long-held ambition.
“I have been through a number of processes to try and achieve this result for myself,” he said.
“Never was there a doubt that I wanted to be an AFL coach.
“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.”
Ex-Carlton assistant Alan Richardson was announced as Port’s director of coaching and strategy while the Power have 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 said.
“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.”
Hinkley said Port, winners of just eight games in the past two seasons, were in a “renewal stage” but was adamant he would rejuvenate the club.
“I have great confidence in what I do,” he said.
“My track record, if you look over it, I have been involved in something like six premierships.
“And just recently (I have) been at the Gold Coast Suns – I have seen a blank canvas and the way it takes time to build. But I understand what it takes to be successful.”
Hinkley’s task was made somewhat easier on Monday when talented utility Angus Monfries left Essendon to join Port, who have lost experienced duo Troy Chaplin to Richmond and Danyle Pearce to Fremantle under free agency rules.