Inside knowledge irrelevant: Crows coach

Adelaide coach Phil Walsh dismisses his inside knowledge of Port Adelaide as irrelevant to Sunday’s AFL grudge match between the clubs.

Walsh spent last season as an assistant to Port coach Ken Hinkley but says his intelligence on the Power won’t give the Crows an edge in Sunday’s fixture, dubbed the Showdown.

“It’s a bit over-rated for mine … it’s what the players do that is going to decide this result, not what I know or what Ken knows about me,” Walsh told reporters on Friday.

“I might know the players a little bit more but this is my 23rd Showdown. Every time I have scouted the opposition team really hard, really scrutinised them, understood what they’re going to do – this one is exactly the same.”

Hinkley concurred with the sentiment of Walsh, who was also an assistant coach at Port for a decade until 2009 before moving to the West Coast Eagles.

“Phil is 100 per cent correct,” Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

“It’s not about what Phil or I know about each other. It’s about what the teams perform like on Sunday afternoon.

“We have both been around for a long time … it’s going to be about how our teams go out there and play.”

Hinkley had no doubt that Walsh, a renowned tactician, would spring a surprise on Sunday.

“There will be something I haven’t seen, I’m sure of that,” he said.

“And I’m sure Phil is probably sitting there thinking the same thing (about me).

“That is the game. That is what we challenge each other with, that is our jobs … it’s a challenge for us as coaches to try and get a little jump – but we don’t normally get that big a jump.”

Hinkley said All Australian midfielder Robbie Gray would return on Sunday from a one-match absence because of a calf injury.

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