PORT ADELAIDE coach Ken Hinkley has praised midfielder Karl Amon for taking his drive to improve, after the club’s 71-point win over Adelaide in the AAMI Community Series game at Noarlunga on Sunday.
Amon has shown throughout the pre-season an ability to play a new role in the middle as well as his customary position on the wing.
He was one of Port’s best in Sunday’s win, finishing with 24 disposals, seven marks and four tackles and Hinkley could not speak more highly of the 25-year-old.
“He’s one of the real great success stories,” Hinkley said after the game.
“You get some pride out of people who work really really hard at their game.
“Karl was a really late (draft) pick, 70-something I think. He’s really developed into such a good elite AFL footballer and he keeps growing his game.
“You’re most pleased about it for a player when they continue to grow.”
Port Adelaide has challenged its players to improve their versatility and be able to play multiple roles and Amon has taken to the challenge, improving on his contest work to complement the work of Travis Boak and Ollie Wines at stoppages.
His speed and ability to break away from a contest has been evident in the two pre-season games against Adelaide, and Hinkley said it gave his side another dimension.
“Clearly his run across the ground makes us better with Travis and Ollie and the speed they can get out of the stoppage,” Hinkley explained, praising Amon for embracing another role.
“As a footballer you get one opportunity to try and create your career and if you’re not pushing it yourself, you’ll probably miss out on opportunities.
“Karl squeezes every inch out of himself.
“He’s got great role models with people like Boak and (Tom) Jonas and (Hamish) Hartlett around him.
“They’ve shown him and helped him learn to get the most out of his career and he’s doing that.”
Hinkley has tossed Riley Bonner and second-year player Miles Bergman on the wing at different stages and feels he has enough cover in the side for those times Amon plays through the middle.
But he explained Amon will still get plenty of time on the wing, depending on how each game pans out.
“As the game needs. We know every game’s going to be different with unique challenges,” the coach said.
“Every game will be a tough game of football to win but we’ll use everyone in the side where we need them at the right time.”