Port Adelaide’s Hamish Hartlett has admitted he was “convinced” coach Ken Hinkley was leaving the club to join Gold Coast, prior to his re-signing.
Hinkley was named as a frontrunner for the vacant position at Gold Coast, so much so that Stuart Dew had reportedly temporarily dropped out of the race.
But Hinkley then signed a new deal to stay at Alberton, allowing Dew to run for - and assume - the head coaching role at the Suns.
Hartlett told Triple M’s Dead Set Legends the playing group isn’t usually informed about decision such as those, leaving him to believe Hinkley was leaving.
“Yeah, I was (nervous),” he said.
“The morning that he announced he was re-signing, probably a couple of hours prior to that, I was thinking ‘he’s gone’.
“Everything I was hearing, everything I was seeing (suggested that).
“We as a playing group don’t get informed in terms of the real ins and outs of that type of stuff too much, that’s left up to the admin and the footy ops guys.
“But I was convinced he was gone.”
Hartlett is thrilled Hinkley is sticking around for what looms as an exciting season to come for Port Adelaide.
After making finals this year, the Power have added Tom Rockliff, Steven Motlop and Jack Watts to their list.
“I’m absolutely stoked that he’s hung around,” Hartlett told Triple M.
“I saw him yesterday very briefly, Kenny - he looks refreshed, he looks ready to go for another big year.”