Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says it’s foolish to describe prized recruit Paddy Ryder as the missing piece in the Power’s premiership puzzle.
Ryder, who left Essendon at the end of last season, will debut for Port in Sunday’s AFL encounter against Fremantle.
The ruck-forward is being touted as the missing link for Port, who were beaten preliminary finalists last season – but Hinkley dismisses such talk as a media beat-up.
“Without being disrespectful, the people who are saying Paddy’s the missing piece are writing the stories and producing the shows,” Hinkley told reporters on Thursday.
“I’m not going to sit here and deny Paddy Ryder is a significant get for our footy club because he is, and we’re really happy to have him here.
“But he’s not the missing piece … you’re not one player away from being a great side.”
Ryder on Tuesday was among a batch of current and former Essendon players to be cleared by an anti-doping tribunal.
Hinkley was relieved to have his potential trump card available but uncertain just how Ryder would gel with his new teammates.
“Have you ever got a new toy and you’re not quite sure (how to use it),” Hinkley said.
“I have got a new telly put up at home yesterday and I go `well, what’s that going to do, how’s that going to work?’ – I’m not quite sure.
“Paddy’s not quite sure, the team’s not quite sure.
“But the more chances we get to play with it the more informed we’ll be about what we can actually do with it.
“That is exciting. Paddy will grow in our team and our team will grow with Paddy as the season unfolds.”