PORT ADELAIDE chairman David Koch says the entire football club is united in the decision to return to the sole captaincy model for season 2020.
After listening to Port Adelaide’s key stakeholders - of which there are many - Mr Koch said it was important to bring back the famous number 1 guernsey.
“We have always been a club that listens to our members. Listens to our people,” Mr Koch said at a packed press conference at Alberton Oval on Friday afternoon.
“The people of the Port Adelaide Football Club are incredibly engaged. Incredibly passionate. And for that we really thank them.
“We have heard loud and clear after going to a joint captaincy model last year, that the number 1 guernsey is one of those iconic traditions that is a really important part of this club.”
The chairman didn’t shy away from the club’s decision to change the captaincy model last season, saying it is important Port Adelaide continues to be innovative in the pursuit of football’s ultimate success.
“We are really proud of our 150-year history, but like any successful sports organisation, we are not afraid to try things,” Mr Koch said.
“We are not afraid to be innovative. We are not afraid to take a tact that we think is a little different, and sometimes breaks with tradition.
“But we also listen to our people, and in this instance, we have listened to them. We will return to that single captain. That number 1 on the locker in the dressing room.”
Mr Koch admitted to making some unpopular decisions in his time at the club, but he was firm in the belief he was making them for the betterment of the club overall.
“I make plenty of unpopular decisions,” he said.
“I have made plenty of unpopular decisions in the minds of many of our fans in the last 12 months, in the last six years.
“But always, the intention is to do what is best for this club as a whole. That’s what I’m driven by.
“There is a lot of responsibility as we are simply trustees of this incredible organisation that has been going for 150 years.
“What each and every one of us wants to do is whenever we leave this club, we leave it in a better position than what we found it.”
Port Adelaide senior coach Ken Hinkley echoed Mr Koch’s sentiments about co-captaincy last season, and believes the three leaders are better prepared to take on the role in the club’s 150th year.
“It was something we wanted to have a go at and something we thought was absolutely right for the football program,” Hinkley said.
“It worked really well because we sit here with three young people - with Tommy as the captain - who are better prepared to do the opportunities that they’ve got now in front of them.”
But Hinkley did admit the traditions of the number one guernsey to Port Adelaide’s members and supporters helped drive the decision.
“I’ve seen the board as we have come down - 39,576 members,” he said.
“They are the reason we exist, and we are going to continue to represent them as well as we can.
“One of their key things is they love the idea of number 1 on the jumper, and we totally support that as a football club.”