Ken Hinkley is seen during Port Adelaide's clash against Brisbane in round 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

UNDER fire Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley will remain in the job for the rest of this season but is "unlikely" to coach the club next year, according to's chief correspondent Damian Barrett.

Hinkley's tenure at the Power has come under scrutiny following a 79-point thrashing at the hands of Brisbane on Saturday, a third straight defeat that has left them in the top eight on percentage only.

Hinkley, who has been at the club since 2012, signed a fresh two-year contract extension last August to take him through to the end of the 2025 season. Barrett believes while Hinkley will remain in place for the rest of this season, he's likely to move on at the end of the year, even if the Power feature in September.

"It's a problem for Ken Hinkley, but I've had the view from the outset that he'll coach through to the completion of 2024," Barrett said on's Access All Areas on Monday.

"Whether that's the round 24 game or an elimination final or maybe even a semi-final, there's no question in my eyes that they will give him the full length of time and then there's a conversation to had.

"I think it's unlikely he'll go into 2025 regardless of results now. But in terms of a decision being made inside this season, no."


Saturday's loss was Hinkley's 262nd game in charge of the Power, whom he has never led to a premiership or even a Grand Final. Only three other coaches have led a club for more than 200 games in a single stint without tasting the ultimate success – Neale Daniher (223 games at Melbourne, 1998-2007), Nathan Buckley (218 games at Collingwood, 2012-2021) and Brad Scott at North Melbourne (211 at North Melbourne, 2010-2019).

Club legend Kane Cornes says it's finals or bust for Hinkley this year, leaving nine games to essentially save his job.

"It was a horror show and you suspect it'll get really ugly from here," Cornes said on's The Round So Far.

"A coach's job is to get the best out of the playing group he's got (and) he couldn't honestly sit there and say he's getting the best out of them. And that's where the trouble starts, particularly when you've been there for so long.


"I've said all year if they didn't make finals, it'd be time for Ken Hinkley to move on. They're in the eight now, but they'd not be feeling secure.

"He'll know when that time is right to walk, and I suspect he'll make that call himself. He looks a bit fatigued and tired and he'd see the writing on the wall. When the time is right, I suspect he'd make that call himself."

Cornes also urged the Power to abandon any succession plan it may have with senior assistant coach Josh Carr, saying the club needs to search far and wide for a replacement.

"I love Josh Carr, he's got a great coaching CV and will make an excellent senior coach, I suspect," he said. "But the right option for Port Adelaide is when they know it's the time to move on from Ken Hinkley, is to open it up far and wide.

Josh Carr speaks to players during Port Adelaide's clash against Greater Western Sydney in round 14, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"Can you go and get John Longmire or Chris Scott? You've got to start at the absolute top of the tree and work your way down.

"I think it would be a mistake to lock yourself in to a pre-determined plan rather than, at the end of the year, open the search up as far as you can and get the absolute best candidate."

Having finished in the top four last season, Port was active in the 2023 trade period as it brought in four players in the hope it would help the club push deep into September.

But Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd says the quality of players the club recruited was well short of what was required, adding the star-studded midfield group needs to lift the club out of the current predicament.

"Jordon Sweet couldn't make it at the Dogs, Ivan Soldo was behind (Toby) Nankveris at Richmond, (Brandon) Zerk-Thatcher used to get monstered by everyone (when he was) at Essendon and (Esava) Ratugolea was always questioned for his decision making," Lloyd said on Access All Areas.

Esava Ratugolea in action during Port Adelaide's clash against Brisbane in round 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"They hoped they would be the answer, but they've been miles away.

"And the midfield looks great on paper, but I think they run too hard one way and they're not honest enough as players. So there are concerns everywhere for Port Adelaide."

Port will travel to Melbourne this weekend to play St Kilda on Sunday.