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In-form Power eyeing a date with Demons

Hinkley: 'Football's a great community' Ken Hinkley discusses the crowd's ovation for Todd Marshall and says his parents would be 'proud of their boy'

PORT Adelaide's uncompromising, contested style of play is music to coach Ken Hinkley's ears as they prepare for a date with premiership contender Melbourne next Friday night.

The Power have found their rhythm in the past six weeks, going 4-1, knocking off reigning premier Richmond, breaking a drought against Showdown rivals Adelaide and taking the gruelling trip to China in their stride.

Their only slip-up was a three-point loss to Hawthorn at fortress Launceston.

POWER STRIKE Full match coverage and stats

Thursday night's comfortable 57-point victory over an injury-ravaged Western Bulldogs propels the Power to seventh on the ladder and 8-4 overall.

But it's an encounter with the in-form Demons at Adelaide Oval on the national stage in round 14 that has Hinkley excited.

"We've got a great challenge next Friday night against a very, very good team," Hinkley said.

"Melbourne are going to be one of those teams that are going to be fighting off at the top of the ladder.

"For us to come here and really test ourselves the best we possibly can is a great opportunity.

"We just need to stay really unconditional in the way we play and it starts around contested possession.

"The game throws up different things at you, but you've got be really consistent about the way you go about things.

"You may still lose some games, but at least you've got a way you want to play."

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The Power welcomed back exciting young forward Todd Marshall for his first game since the death of his father in April.

Marshall lost both his parents in the space of six months, and Power fans showed their support with a minute's applause at the 13-minute mark of the game for their No.13.

"Football's a great community, we all understand that, we see it time and time again," Hinkley said.

"This week, we've seen it with Toddy and everyone was really pleased for him.

"Great result for his mum and dad, who I'm sure are looking down from above, pretty proud of their boy."

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Veteran goalsneak Lindsay Thomas also made an impact in just his second game for the Power, and first at AFL level since being handed a four-game suspension for a hit on Geelong's Scott Selwood.

"He showed tonight that he is actually going to offer a bit, more than just back-up support," Hinkley said.

"He's doing really well, and hopefully for his sake and our sake, he continues to do that."

WATCH Ken Hinkley's full post-match media conference

Another positive for the Power is the impending return of experienced defender Matthew Broadbent, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury.

Hinkley said Broadbent would play in the SANFL in two weeks' time before he builds up to a return to the senior side in the back-end of the season.

"The plan always has been that he will play directly after the bye in the SANFL," Hinkley said.

"He will take a good month of football to get himself back into some shape, but that gives us a great opportunity for the final six-plus weeks of the season."