Power players keen to win for under-pressure Hinkley
Port Adelaide players feel a sense of duty to deliver a strong AFL season for coach Ken Hinkley, captain Tom Jonas says.
The Power underperformed last year when they started 0-5 and missed the top-eight, having lost preliminary finals in each of the previous two campaigns.
The shortcomings brought plenty of heat on Hinkley, whose existing contract runs out at the end of 2023.
But Hinkley, who has been at the helm for 10 seasons, has set the bar high this year, declaring Port's current list the strongest he has had at his disposal.
The bold call has ensured the 56-year-old will again be in the spotlight again as the Power seek a finals return.
"Kenny's been totally professional with the way that he always deals with the pressure that he gets put under," Jonas told AAP.
"He deals with it like a champion.
"We'd love to give Kenny an outstanding year of footy and coaching so he can really enjoy his time.
"It's certainly a lot more fun when you're winning games of footy and it makes the place a lot better to be around for everyone involved."
The Power bolstered their list during the off-season with the acquisition of former No.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis from North Melbourne and West Coast premiership forward Junior Rioli.
Horne-Francis, 19, has impressed Port teammates since recovering from surgery to repair debilitating pain in his calves, and looks ready to set the competition alight.
"His pre-season games have been really promising," Jonas said.
"We're really liking what we're seeing with what he does with the ball, but also the amount of care he shows for his team."
The Power host Brisbane at Adelaide Oval in round one, desperate to get off to a positive start against a genuine premiership contender.
The Lions high-powered midfield, led by Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale, Hugh McCluggage, recruit Josh Dunkley and boom draft pick Will Ashcroft, presents a huge threat.
"It's a great challenge to have first up because they really set the bar high in terms of contested footy," Jonas said.
"If we can match them in that space it's going to bode well for the remainder of the season."