PORT Adelaide veteran Kane Cornes is thinking about retirement – but that's no indication he's seriously considering it.
One of the best midfielders in the Power's history, Cornes has won a joint record four John Cahill Medals as best and fairest and is the club's games record holder with 293 matches.
As he enters a 15th season, he light-heartedly told reporters at Alberton that he'd been thinking of hanging up his boots for several years now.
The 32-year-old's performances have suggested otherwise; since his career was truly threatened under then-coach Matthew Primus in 2011, Cornes has amazed.
He won his fourth best and fairest award the following year and finished third in 2013 and 2014. Since 2004 he's finished outside the top three just once (2011).
Cornes ran a personal best 3km time-trial last December and said he felt as good as he could at this stage of what has been an arduous pre-season.
"I've gone into the last five seasons thinking it was going to be my last so it's no different," Cornes laughed.
"A 3km time-trial is great but it doesn't tend to reflect what you're doing in terms of match play – it gives you an overall guide of how you're going fitness-wise.
"Once you start getting into games, your time-trial becomes a bit irrelevant.
"[I've] just been focusing on the match-play stuff, we've done a lot of it – it feels like we've been doing it for months.
"I feel good. You don't tend to feel 'great' at this stage of the year just because of the workload you're put under, so it's just a matter of managing that as best you can."
Cornes talked up the prospects of young midfielder Karl Amon, who beat the time-trial champion on a training run while in Dubai last December.
He predicted the 19-year-old would stand out during the NAB Challenge and press for a senior debut this year.
He also backed rookie Nathan Krakouer to see plenty of game time in the lead up to round one.
Krakouer re-joined the Power at last year's rookie draft after leaving the club at the end of 2010 to sign with Gold Coast.
"We'll play Nathan across half back; (he’s) a really good user of the footy and anytime you can get smart half-backs who use the footy well they fit in quite nicely," Cornes said.
"[He's the] same guy, really good character, (and has) fitted in like he never left.
"He's been training really well, he's been working hard, his body's in good condition, he looks after himself and he's probably a little bit more professional than what he was when he left.
"I'm sure he'll get an opportunity throughout the NAB Challenge."