Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley believes representative football should return to the calendar on an annual basis. Picture: AAP/David Mariuz
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley believes representative football should return to the calendar on an annual basis. Picture: AAP/David Mariuz

Origin has injury risk but should be annual game: Hinkley

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has thrown his support behind the return of representative football and believes it should be an annual fixture on the AFL calendar.

The league last week announced a match between Victoria and an All-Stars side at Marvel Stadium on February 28 to raise money for the bushfire disaster.

 

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It will be the first State of Origin-style representative match since 2008, when Victoria took on a "Dream Team" featuring players from other states at the MCG in front of 69,294 people.

Hinkley was in the Victorian coaches box that night as an assistant and also played for the Big V during his 132-game career at Fitzroy and Geelong.

He backed the concept and "100 per cent" thought it should become an annual fixture to raise money for worthy causes, despite the risk of injury to star players on the eve of the season.

Ken Hinkley has thrown his support behind representative football being brought back to the calendar to raise money for the bushfire disaster. Picture: AAP/Russell Millard
Ken Hinkley has thrown his support behind representative football being brought back to the calendar to raise money for the bushfire disaster. Picture: AAP/Russell Millard

"I was lucky, I played State of Origin football and any opportunity you've got to be a part of that for the cause - let's understand why we're doing it," Hinkley said on SEN SA.

"There's no doubt there's a risk to clubs and I'm a coach and you don't want any injuries, but the bigger cause here is much more important.

"It's not quite the same, we've got the Allies concept, but to be a part of the best 50 players in the game - because they will all put their hand up, I don't have any doubt - it'll be a great contest and a great game to watch."

A maximum of three players per club will be eligible to line up in the match to ensure minimal disruption to pre-season training.

Hinkley said the chance to represent his state meant a lot and he looked back fondly on State of Origin games.

Footballers Jonathan Brown and Brendan Fevola with the trophy after the Hall Of Fame Tribute Match, Victoria vs Dream Team at the MCG 10 May 2008.
Footballers Jonathan Brown and Brendan Fevola with the trophy after the Hall Of Fame Tribute Match, Victoria vs Dream Team at the MCG 10 May 2008.

"To play for the Big V was massive and I'm sure playing for South Australia or WA (also)," he said.

"To play in your state jumper is a great honour and it's one that everyone strives to do and unfortunately it's disappeared a little bit.

"I was part of the coaching team in 2008 when we played the last State of Origin game and the excitement just being around it was great so I'm sure the players would feel the same."

Dual Richmond premiership coach Damien Hardwick will lead the Victorians, while Sydney's flag-winning mentor John Longmire takes the reins of the All-Stars.

Crows and Port Adelaide players will also feature in a Twenty20 "Showdown" at Adelaide Oval on February 2 to raise money for the SA Bushfire Appeal.

News Corp Australia

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