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Hinkley seeing the positives

Ken Hinkley press conference: 16 May 2019 | PTV Ken Hinkley talks to the media

PORT ADELAIDE senior coach Ken Hinkley can see some positives stemming from the club’s ever-growing injury list, despite the challenges it has faced early in the season.

Hinkley says it is giving an opportunity to some younger players who may not necessarily get that opportunity so early in their senior careers.

“You’re always challenged,” Hinkley said at his weekly press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“The game always challenges you. It’s just the volume and where they sit in the pecking order a little bit for us.

“We’ve probably got eight of our best 10-12 players unavailable, but we’ll be okay, we’ll get some back.

“What we are seeing because of that, is we get to produce opportunities for people who are underneath, who have been at times struggling to get their opportunities.

“There are always some good things that come out of injuries.

“That’s what we always look at, what do we get to see here? We get to see young people play. We get to see people get an opportunity that they perhaps normally haven’t had.”

Dougal Howard was a revelation for the Power when he went forward against the Crows in the third quarter of the Showdown last weekend, kicking two goals and having a real impact.

But the senior coach is reluctant to start him in attack against the Suns on Sunday afternoon.

“He’s been performing pretty well as a defender,” Hinkley said.

“It worked really well as an in-game shock tactic (against the Crows).

“We have a pretty strong, young backline and we think they work pretty well together.

“They are things we weigh up and we have to decide what’s best and what our options are to have someone who can do some damage up at the front end.

“At the moment, we would prefer to still stay with Dougal as a defender.”

Hinkley has been impressed with Gold Coast’s start to season 2019, and knows his side must be completely switched on to get the four points on Sunday.

“They have been playing a really strong brand of footy,” he said.

“I think Stewy (Stuart Dew) and the team up there have done a terrific job, because I don’t think people gave them lots of promising outlooks at the start of this year.

“They’ve done enormously well. They’ve been in every game they’ve played basically. “We expect that there will be a really strong, hard contest and it will be a good game.”

The Power host the Suns at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon from 12.40pm, with kids under the age of 15 in for free.