Hocking unsure on Port job

Sportal August 7, 2012, 9:24 pm
Garry Hocking

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Port Adelaide interim coach Garry Hocking is unsure yet whether he wants to apply for the vacant top job at Alberton next year.

Hocking was ushered in as caretaker coach of the Power on Monday after Matthew Primus vacated the post with four rounds remaining in the season, after he was told he wasn't going to be part of the plans for 2013 and beyond.

Primus' fate was determined at a crisis meeting held on Sunday following the Power's embarrassing 34-point loss to expansion side Greater Western Sydney.

Hocking, who has been the Power's longest-serving assistant since late 2009, will be given four weeks at the helm.

While Hocking has had senior coaching experience with Peel Thunder in the WAFL, the caretaker stint will be the first time he has been in charge of an AFL club.

The decorated former Geelong player denied the four-week spell would act as an audition, admitting he had not given thought to entering the hot seat at this stage in his coaching career.

However the 43-year-old was assured he would like to stay at the Power beyond this season in whatever capacity.

"At the end of four weeks I might either think that it's wonderful and see you guys (media) a bit more regularly, or possibly, think it's not up for me," Hocking said.

"I'm like Matty (Primus), I love the club and like any other coach or person that works here - it's a great environment.

"We are heading in the right direction even though there are a few broken bits, but we are not in a crisis.

"There are a couple of things we really need to fix and fix quickly, and that will be my job over the next four weeks."

One immediate issue to 'fix' for Hocking is the future of classy on-baller Travis Boak who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Speculation has been rife following Primus' exit that Boak is reconsidering donning the teal, black and white beyond 2012.

Despite signalling his intention to team-mates that he would sign a new deal, the 24-year-old is now thought to be weighing up a lucrative offer to join Geelong, who are sure to step up their bid to lure the Victorian back home.

While Hocking said he had spoken to Boak a former pupil of his at the Geelong Falcons there still remained an uncertainty whether the star midfielder would re-commit to the Power.

"I spoke to Travis Monday. I spoke to the whole playing group. I've seen them all individually, so there's a little bit of uncertainty with all of our players on our list when the senior coach goes and someone steps in," Hocking said.

"I've coached Travis before and the decision will remain with Travis.

"Hopefully he will be comfortable soon to be able to make that decision for all of us."

Hocking's short-term role doesn't begin any easier with a trip to Tasmania to face the rampant Hawthorn at Aurora Stadium on Sunday.

Hocking conceded there was no little time to make an impact at the club but was looking forward to implement some of his trademark 'non-negotiable' style he was renowned for during his heyday at the Cattery.

"The expectation's not a win-loss one, it's just about gaining some respect back from our members and our supporters," Hocking said.

"Going forward over the next month I will certainly push some non-negotiables in the playing group head-over-the-footy effort, desire, passion, respect for one another and respect for the game.

"It'll be a simple plan, you'll just need to play very aggressively and compete when it's your turn.

"There will be guidelines and benchmarks for those sorts of things that we are looking for in the game, and that's all the players over the next four weeks will be judged on."

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2 Comments

  1. c.m.c09:14am Wednesday 08th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    NOW might be the time the players actually took some responsability not just the INFLATED pay!!!

    Reply
  2. JESUS is GOD07:58am Wednesday 08th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Shocking hasn't done anything for Port Adelaide except take the wage

    Reply
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