Port Adelaide have got their mojo back ahead of the AFL finals.
What a shame they won’t be contesting them.
Power coach Ken Hinkley admitted they were back to their finals worthy best after Saturday night’s 37-point win on the Gold Coast, their fifth victory in six games.
But Hinkley refused to wonder what might have been ahead of an AFL finals campaign they won’t be a part of.
With one regular season round left, early flag fancies Port (9th; 11-10 record) are already resigned to missing out on the top eight.
“If we had have played that style of football for most parts of the year we might find ourselves in a different position,” Hinkley said after the 12.16 (88) to 7.9 (51) win over the Suns at a wet Metricon Stadium.
However, Hinkley said his team were far from broken.
“I think the most pleasing part is we’ve played the way Port Adelaide should play, we’ve played pretty tough,” he said.
“Our supporters would recognise that, they would have watched us play over the last month-and-a-bit and say ‘that’s the team we support, that’s the team we’re proud of’.
“Sometimes it’s really hard to stay alive in the mind when the season’s gone.
“I think to our boys’ credit they’ve been able to do that.
“We are where we deserve to be but we’ve at least been strong enough to play out the season.”
Asked if he wondered what his resurgent Power could have done in the looming finals, Hinkley said: “That’s a waste of my time.”
Hinkley dipped his hat to Sam Gray (career high 37 disposals), Karl Amon (three goals) and Brendon Ah Chee (18 touches).
“They are the upsides. We have been disappointing (this season) but we have found some players which is exciting,” Hinkley said.