Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley.
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley. JULIAN SMITH

How Ken Hinkley has changed Power's fortunes

PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley was a man under pressure going into season 2017.

However, two wins from the side's opening two games to start the campaign has eased that immensely and turned the Power into one of the league's biggest surprise packets.

Now, coming into a round-three Showdown with arch-rivals Adelaide on Saturday night, Hinkley's side sits on top of the ladder - playing a type of football dramatically different to what was seen last year.

So, what's changed?

According to the man at the helm, Port Adelaide's playing group and even Hinkley himself took a step back at the end of last season to realise what was going wrong - and how they could rectify it.

"It's a fair bit different," Hinkley told Fox Footy's AFL 360.

"Without going into great detail, we're talking about the way we're playing, the way we're defending and the way we're moving the ball."

After a 10-12 season last year - a second straight campaign without finals - many were suggesting Hinkley's job could be at risk if the club was not challenging for September action in 2017.

But Hinkley instead believes both he and the team are still improving, suggesting he learnt a lot from the disappointment of the last few seasons.

"(I've improved) a fair bit," Hinkley said.

"I think any coach does - every year you're in it, you learn more.

"I think my own coaching has certainly got better again in the last 12 months, where I'm taking a much bigger hand in listening to other people.

"I'm listening to the other coaches really closely and I've given them an enormous amount of trust. I'm letting them do their jobs and I've got a great coaching group.

"I think it's really important that I can show them that can happen and that they can take control of their own areas and get the results we need."

Hinkley suggested Port Adelaide's main focus of improvement this season has been limiting its mistakes and creating a sustainable new brand going forward.

"Some of the stuff we can see clearly is that we've done some great work in limiting our own damage," Hinkley said.

"We're playing a system that's quite different and quite interesting as far as what it looks like from a real AFL point of view.

"We're looking forward to seeing that get even better, but I think we've certainly seen some significant change as to what we've normally done."

News Corp Australia

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