“As much as anything, you want to be a hard worker. That’s what you want to be known for.”
Ken Hinkley established himself as a hard worker throughout his playing career and now as head coach of Port Adelaide.
As the latest person to feature Channel 7’s #Discovered series, Hinkley shows that determination and persistence pays off.
He played 11 games with Fitzroy before moving to Geelong where he became known as a tough defender in his 121 games as a Cat.
With two All Australian selections to his name in 1991 and 1992 as a half-back flanker, it could be said that his hunger on the field was a reflection of him as a kid growing up as one of ten children.
“Being from a big family you had to work pretty hard; work hard to get a feed, work hard to do anything.”
“I wanted to get the job being who I am, not someone that they wanted” – Ken Hinkley
Things have never come easy for Hinkley; he missed out on several coaching positions before receiving the top job at Port Adelaide.
“I wanted to get the job being who I am, not someone that they wanted,” he reflects.
“It did burn away a little bit that maybe I was not quite right for a lot of those jobs that came up and maybe there was a reason that I was left for this job.”
Now a head coach, he has encouraged his players to adopt the hard work ethic he has always lived by.
“In you, I do trust,” he told his players in a pre-game address earlier this season.
“I’m sure you’ll come in [after the game] tonight with what you deserve.”
Hinkley has formed close relationships with his players, which has contributed to his coaching success to date.
“Emotionally, I actually am quite close with them. I think it helps you understand what they’re trying to do and they understand what I’m trying to do.”
Port Adelaide has had an outstanding season under Hinkley – a top four berth in September seems imminent – but he believes there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
“We know if we give up trying to climb, we might as well give up all together. For me it’s always about trying to get it as good as we possibly can.”