KEN Hinkley has signed a new three-year contract extension that will see him remain at Port Adelaide until the end of 2021.
The Port Adelaide coach has been heavily linked to the Gold Coast Suns where he spent time as an assistant coach between 2010 and 2012, despite having one-year left to run on his current contract.
Hinkley says that the process has been taxing, but is happy to be locked in at the Power for another four seasons.
“It’s been pretty tiring for everyone involved,” Hinkley said.
“I’m so pleased to be a part of this club with this group of players, what we have going is unbelievable, I needed to keep that going.”
With 2017 fuelled with speculation surrounding his future, Hinkley says communication between him and the club never wavered.
“We have good conversations, we are prepared to have challenges and we’re prepared to face them,” he said.
Since arriving at Alberton in late 2012, Hinkley has taken Port Adelaide to three finals series in five years, with his side reaching a preliminary final in 2014 against Hawthorn.
Hinkley is bullish about the Power and believes a premiership is not out of reach for the current group of players.
“If I said I’m not trying to win a premiership I’d be foolish,” he said.
“We’re quite young, have lots to learn and we have changed a lot in our program,”
“Where we want to go is the top and until we get there we won’t be happy.”
Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas says he is ‘thrilled’ with the signing and is optimistic about the club’s prospects.
“We think we have established a powerful platform for the future,” Thomas said.
“Ken is a highly experienced and skilled coach, he’s a man of great character and an outstanding leader of our club,”
“We are thrilled he and his family have agreed to extend his time with us and continue the climb we are on.”
Thomas also praised club president David Koch, who issued an emotional outburst to supporters following the Power’s heartbreaking elimination final loss to West Coast.
“David is a big national personality, he’s a very obliging media performer and that’s been an enormous positive for our club,” he said.
“There is a disproportionate level of attention given (to him), and that is fantastic for our club and its national profile.”