Keith Thomas
Keith Thomas

Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas has denied reports no-one wants to coach the club after prospective candidates Rodney Eade and Brett Ratten withdrew from the race to take over the struggling team.

In an expansive message from the CEO on the Port Adelaide website on Friday afternoon, Thomas said the search for a new coach would now take longer than the initial deadline of Grand Final day 2012.

Thomas said this had occurred as a consequence of the club honouring John McCarthy after his tragic death last week.

But the chief executive was adamant the Power were still on track to find a new coach sooner rather than later.

"We are currently still in stage 2 of our pre-determined 3-phase process, which means we are still interviewing candidates," wrote Thomas.

"I can confirm that Brett Ratten did present to the panel, and has subsequently withdrawn from the race citing the fact that he believes a senior assistant role somewhere may be more appropriate for him in the immediate aftermath of his Carlton experience. We respect his decision.

"In regards to the rest of the field, despite the fact that finals participation, dealing with John's tragedy and celebrating his life, along with other issues have presented a few logistical challenges, we are very comfortable with our options and progress to date.

"Having accepted that the pre-grand final timeline was not going to be possible following recent events, we are now simply committed to moving through these final stages as efficiently and diligently as we can.

"Far from being 'the club no-one wants to coach' as reported in one interstate paper today, we need to be patient, make sure that we do our due diligence, and ultimately pick the right guy for Port Adelaide. It's as simple as that."

Port Adelaide started looking for a new coach after parting ways with Matthew Primus following the club's Round 19 loss to GWS.

A day after Primus was sacked, president Brett Duncanson also made way.

Thomas said that, like the coaching position, the board still hadn't found someone to replace Duncanson.

"Work continues on this front, but we are probably still some weeks away from resolving this leadership issue," Thomas wrote.

"Again, selecting the right person is far more important than the timing of any announcement."


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