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Thomas: It really is a unique opportunity to get under the bonnet of the footy club

Keith Thomas on SEN SA - PTV Keith Thomas radio interview on SEN SA sports show.

PORT ADELAIDE Chief Executive Keith Thomas has praised the club’s members for being well informed, and welcomed questioning at this week’s unique Member Convention.

Mr Thomas’ statement, on Adelaide radio on Monday morning, came after the club’s Annual General Meeting on Friday night where Chairman David Koch and coach Ken Hinkley took plenty of questions from members about the disappointing end to the 2018 campaign.

Mr Thomas said the club embraced its member first mentality, and answering those questions was part of that.

“I remember back in 2012 and 13 when I first started, I was up there for nearly two hours,” he said on SEN SA Breakfast of his first experience at the club’s AGM.

“What you find is – and we embrace it – is that there are questions that our members want answered and they want to understand what it is that we’re doing about those things that are on their minds.

“You can organise a meeting and have three questions and shut it down but we choose not to do that. We choose to stand there and answer them because people want to know and we give them that ability.”

Among the questions on Friday night were people asking about the Power’s game plan, the club’s financial position and inability to secure a joint major partner in 2018.

Mr Thomas said they were all valid questions, which would form key planks of the annual Member Convention this Saturday at the Entertainment Centre.

“It really is a unique opportunity to get under the bonnet of the footy club,” he said.

“These things you flip by a bit but if you’re talking to Jason Cripps about list management, or Ken Hinkley about the game plan or Kochie about where the business sits – these are not conversations that you can normally have.

“I think our members who are really well informed and educated and want to know, get a great opportunity so we’ll happily roll it out again.”

The AFL-first forum was first held at Alberton Oval in 2018 but has been moved to the bigger venue at Hindmarsh to allow for a bigger attendance, after many people missed out last year.

Presentations include a talk by senior assistant coach Michael Voss about how the new AFL rules would impact the side, a player panel of five players to discuss their preparation for 2019, presentations by each of the line coaches and senior coach Ken Hinkley as well as talks by Mr Thomas and Chairman David Koch.

Mr Thomas said he expected questions regarding the club’s captaincy to continue until a replacement for Travis Boak was named.

“There’s been a lot of talk about it and I think that’s been a by-product of having had Travis in place for a number of years – it’s been a while since we’ve had a leadership discussion,” Mr Thomas said.

“We’ve also taken virtually all of the pre-season to work through the different scenarios that we’ve got and I would imagine that we would make that decision before JLT1.

“The traditional approach from Port Adelaide is a single captain, and we understand that.

“We’re also very aware that this is a different era of football and the co-captaincy model has been well and truly rolled out in AFL circles for years so that can work.

“We’re just looking at all the options and, in the end, you’ve just got to make the best call based on the circumstances we’ve got right now and that’s the process the guys are going through.”