Port Adelaide’s players have nothing much to gain from their AFL season finale against Gold Coast but coach Ken Hinkley says there’s plenty to lose.
The Power take on the Suns with nothing on the line for either team except pride.
Gold Coast are hurting after back-to-back losses in Melbourne to Essendon and Collingwood, while the Power put in a gutsy but ultimately futile effort last weekend in the Showdown against Adelaide.
The Suns are also dealing with confirmation midfield star Jaeger O’Meara wants out of the club at season’s end.
Hinkley says while the season may be over for both clubs, he still expects his team to head north showing hunger and a desire to end the year with 10 wins.
“It matters to me,” Hinkley said.
“We got out to play every week, regardless of whether it’s round 23 or round one.
“We want to win. They people that we’ve picked in the side … it’s an opportunity for them as well.”
Port forward Jay Schulz will play his final match for the club on Saturday after this week’s announcement he would be leaving Alberton at season’s end.
While it’s the end of an era, debutants Riley Bonner and Will Snelling represent the future for Power fans.
“We get to send one person off and welcome two new people in,” Hinkley said.
“It’s quite a unique game.”
The Suns’ season has been decimated by injury and more players have been sidelined this week.
Jarrod Harbrow’s season is over after he broke a thumb, and Sean Lemmens (concussion) and Jarrod Garlett (shoulder) are also out.
In their place come Mitch Hallahan and youngsters Jesse Joyce and Darcy McPherson.
Saturday’s game will also be the 100th appearance for Gold Coast’s Matt Shaw.
The Suns’ first win as an AFL club came against the Power but since that victory in 2011 Port have won five straight against the expansion outfit.