Port coach Hinkley won't rush fresh contract talks

·2-min read
Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS

Ken Hinkley won't rush fresh contract talks with Port Adelaide, dismissing any distraction at being linked to the vacant Richmond coaching job.

The Power coach, who falls off-contract at season's end, and club hierarchy have delayed any negotiations until August.

And Hinkley says that pre-season agreement won't change despite Damien Hardwick quitting as Tigers coach.

"It's really, really clear and really simple ... our position as a footy club has been really, really strong and it's not going to change, nothing will change," Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

"I have got a football club and we have got a football team that we're really focused on. And our team will stay focused on that and we won't let any distractions get in our way.

"We have been really clear right from the start, from the board right through to myself, that any individual at our footy club will stay focused on the job at hand.

"That is my sole responsibility and I won't buy in to any other conversations around what may or may not happen.

"It would be foolish because any comment I put out there now can be portrayed slightly differently than what it is.

"I have got a sole focus on the performance of this team ... the dangers with getting distracted in that are not something I'm going to entertain.

"The only distraction could be if we didn't make this clear and we have made it really clear."

Hinkley, in his 11th season at the helm, has steered Port to third spot on ladder and will enter Sunday's MCG clash against Richmond on a seven game winning streak.

He admitted shock at Hardwick's sudden resignation and joined fellow coaches including Fremantle's Justin Longmuir in appealing to the AFL to increase the monetary cap on club football departments.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the AFL reduced the cap from $9.2 million to $6.95m, a figure to rise to $7.2m next year.

Hinkley said the cutbacks had heaped more pressure on coaches and staffers.

"It's 100 per cent real and that's why the coaching industry has been really strong on supporting the increases in soft cap," he said.

"It's clear to us that it's the biggest part of the industry that has been cut the most and it has not got anywhere near back to where it should be.

"And when you have the stresses that all staff - not just coaches, all staff - in the industry have to put up with and deal with, that becomes real.

"The AFL have have to sit up and take some notice. There's just too many things happening now that would suggest this is OK."