Slow AFL starts doesn't faze Port coach

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Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley isn't overly fazed by his AFL club's reputation as slow starters.

Ahead of Friday night's opening of the finals series when Port host Geelong, Hinkley's Power haven't won a first quarter for eight matches.

But the Power coach has a rapid retort: "We have won 17 games for the year so we have been pretty good. The starts are what they are."

Of the last eight games when trailing at quarter-time, Port have won seven.

And in six of those matches, they've won the last quarter.

"We stick to the process," Hinkley said.

"If the scoreboard is the only place you're going to get some nourishment from, you're going to lose your way.

"For us, it's to understand the game style that we play, the results are not always just on the scoreboard."

Hinkley has replaced injured forward Mitch Georgiades (hamstring) with Orazio Fantasia for the finals opener at Adelaide Oval before a 15,000 strong crowd.

The Power are the sole club enjoying a home ground advantage in week one of the finals - they finished the home-and-away season in second spot with the Cats third.

"We have earnt the opportunity to be at home, we deserve the opportunity to be at home," Hinkley said.

The Cats have been bolstered by the return of key midfielder Mitch Duncan for his first game after 10 weeks out because of a knee injury.

"I'm confident that I've done enough work," Duncan said.

"Training has been fine and it's obviously going to hard at times, I'm going to be blowing and it's going to be on from the start.

"Any final is going to be a little bit different to the normal mainstream home-and-away season (match)."

Geelong dropped Max Holmes and Shaun Higgins from the starting 21, with one likely to be the medical substitute.

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