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Ken Hinkley signs first contract extension, remains in charge until at least end of 2018

Ken Hinkley, Senior Coach of Port Adelaide poses for a photograph during an AFL.com.au portrait session at AFL House, Melbourne on February 12, 2015. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
In for the long haul, Ken Hinkley has signed a two-year contract extension keeping him at the helm of Port Adelaide until at least the end of 2018.

KEN HINKLEY has penned a two-year contract extension, which will see him remain at the helm of the Alberton club until at least the 2018 season.

Having led the Power to consecutive finals campaigns since moving into the club's senior role in October 2012, Hinkley has become one of the foremost coaches in the AFL, being voted by his peers as the best coach of the league in 2013 - his first year. 

In just two seasons, he has risen to be the club's second longest-serving head coach, behind Mark Williams, and has coached the club to five finals. 

With his original four-year contract tying him to the club until the end of next season, the further two years is a show of faith in Hinkley by the club, and the acceptance by Hinkley a sign of his intent.

Port Adelaide's chief executive officer Keith Thomas has known Hinkley for some time, having played at Fitzroy together in the late eighties, and says Hinkley's commitment will allow stability on the long journey the club has planned.

“AFL football is a tough game, and coaching at the highest level can be brutal. Ken has helped us understand the importance of ‘staying the journey’ as a club,” Thomas told portadelaidefc.com.au.

“His advice from the outset was simple: Put the right people in place, give them the resources they need to succeed and back them to the hilt.

"I’m glad we were listening. 

“Ken is an outstanding coach and he is supported by a wonderful family, we are absolutely thrilled that Ken, Donna, Lisa, Bec and Jordy have decided to call Port Adelaide home.”

Ken's on-board. Make sure you are too with an 11-game general admission membership for 2015

Despite acknowledging his 'outsider' status when joining the club in 2012, Hinkley has lived and breathed Port Adelaide like the club stalwarts before him.

Not since Fos Williams was lured from West Adelaide in 1950 has a non-Port Adelaide person been handed the coveted role of heading up South Australia's oldest top-level football club. 

His vision is to remain with the club long-term and set it up for sustained success.

Recently purchasing a home in the South Australian capital, the Hinkley family looks likely to call Adelaide home for many years. 

Family is something important to him, but beyond his wife Donna and three children, the Hinkleys have adopted 45 new sons, and an extended family of almost 60,000 members and thousands more supporters.

“I can’t imagine myself coaching another football club. I’ve only been here two seasons but it feels like I’ve been part of the Port Adelaide Football Club forever,” Hinkley told portadelaidefc.com.au.

“As a family we’ve just bought a house in Adelaide which means we want this city to be a long-term part of our life.

“My wife loves it here in Adelaide and my three children are very happy and content.

“This is my first contract extension here at Port Adelaide and hopefully there’s many more to come.”

Hinkley says the support offered to the football program by the club's board and surrounding departments was critical in deciding to stay at Alberton.

Ken Hinkley profile

The commitment extends beyond Hinkley himself, but to every key area of the football program, including maintaining top-level resources for the high performance unit led by Darren Burgess, and the recruiting and list management team headed by Geoff Parker (national recruiting manager) and Jason Cripps (list manager).

“From the time I arrived, I, along with David Koch, Keith Thomas and all the key leaders at the club made a decision that we were going to go a certain way and we would stick together on that path," Hinkley said.

“We’ve been able to do that so far and it just makes sense that we would continue on in that same direction as a football club and I want to be a part of that.”

“It’s great to know that the football club is supporting the football program. When you see the football club’s commitment to the football program in all those key areas it provides me as senior coach a better chance to build sustained on-field success."

Hinkley will begin his third season as Port Adelaide's senior coach against Fremantle in the opening round of the 2015 AFL Premiership Season.

He will coach his 50th senior game in the Power's first home match of the season against Sydney at the Adelaide Oval on 11 April.