PORT ADELAIDE had its full squad on the training track for the first time in 2021 on Wednesday when defender Aliir Aliir joined his new teammates at Alberton.
The former Swans defender had to complete a fortnight in isolation after spending time in Sydney before his move to Adelaide.
But the 26-year-old emerged on Wednesday to meet his new teammates and train with them for the first time.
“He’s glad to be out but so are a lot of people who have experienced that. It’s exciting to have him at the football club for the first time and meet his new teammates,” Hinkley said during a press conference after training.
“We’ve had Orazio (Fantasia) here and young draftees here as well so it’s always an exciting time at the footy club.
“He’s a perfect size for what we were after and we were lucky enough to get him here.
“He’ll bring value to our team.”
Aliir started the session training separately to the main group with a few players being managed through periods of training.
Hinkley said the only player in that group to have had surgery in the off-season was vice-captain Hamish Hartlett, who had a knee operation but was running well and was expected to be fit to play when games come around.
“There’s two or three not in full training but there’s no long-term issues at all so we’re in a healthy position,” the coach explained.
“We ended last season in a shorter season with very little off-season surgery at all and that’s what you wish for, everyone coming in at the start of the season reasonably fit.
“Hamish has missed a bit but he’s back and we’re managing what we do with him now.
“If we were to play football in two weeks, I’m sure Hamish would be playing but right now you manage the players you have to manage.
“There’s people out there we manage and do different things with at different times.”
Another being managed is defender Ryan Burton who was restricted to eight games in 2020 on the back of repeated quad injuries.
But Hinkley hoped with an individualised program, the 23-year-old would be a regular again this season.
“We have looked at his program as you would expect and individualised it. He missed a lot of football last year and he’s such an important part of our team,” Hinkley said.
“We think we’re on top of everything with Ryan but the proof will come at the end of a 25-26 game season.
“We can’t ignore what he went through last year, we know he’s an explosive athlete. We’ve got to manage some of the moments he can explode and make sure there are more of them on game day.”
Port Adelaide plays its first competitive game against Carlton in the AFL Community Series at Whyalla’s Bennett Oval on February 21.