Port content with need for speed: coach Hinkley

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is comfortable with the in-vogue AFL mantra: speed kills.

And he says his side is as well stocked as ever in regard to the modern game's emphasis on speed as it approaches season 2023.

"Last year got an acknowledgment that it (the game) got a bit quicker," Hinkley told AAP.

"We have never been a side that has been slow so I don't think that was something that we spent too much time on.

"Every side now and then occasionally goes a bit backwards and forwards and goes nowhere.

"But I think the competition last year, the premiers (Geelong) showed that they made a significant change, went forward with the ball more, took the game on a little bit more.

"But again, that has probably been a bit of a strength of ours."

Hinkley is also content that size doesn't matter - as much as system.

Port's backline repeatedly gets knocked as undersized with Aliir Aliir, at 196cm, the tallest of the club's key defensive stocks including captain Tom Jonas (188cm), Trent McKenzie (191cm) and Tom Clurey (193cm).

"We have been great for the last 10 years," Hinkley said of Port's defence.

"If you look through the numbers, the lowest we have probably been ranked in points against in my time is either six or seventh in 10 years.

"So we're solid. We're a really strong defensive team, we have got good behaviours, we don't rely on natural size.

"But some of the (opposition) forwards are getting bigger by the day almost, they're 200cm plus ... the younger kids that are coming through now, they actually almost start at 200cm, it feels like.

"So we are challenging our blokes to match-up on them at times but we think systematically we can withstand that."

Hinkley has been less satisfied with Port's polish: converting attacking forays into goals.

Last year when missing the finals, the Power averaged 53 entries a game into their attacking 50m for an average return of 11.9 goals.

"That ability to finish when you go inside forward 50 - the premiership team last year, they had an incredible forward line," Hinkley said.

"They had three really big pieces - (Tom) Hawkins, (Jeremy) Cameron and (Tyson) Stengle - that kicked a lot of goals, that is the quality of people in front of the ball.

"We're building in that area. We knew and acknowledged that we had some shortfall in our small forwards."

Hinkley hoped that void would be filled by recruiting Junior Rioli from West Coast and Francis Evans from Geelong, and the return of Orazio Fantasia who didn't play an AFL game last year due to injury.