PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is confident Mitch Georgiades can overcome a bad case of the goalkicking yips and return to AFL ranks as a better player.
Georgiades was a surprise axing for Saturday night's clash with Richmond at Adelaide Oval, especially after fellow forward Todd Marshall was forced out due to the health and safety protocols.
Hinkley revealed he had a 30 minute conversation with Georgiades on Thursday where the pair had a heart-to-heart chat.
Georgiades announced himself as a future star kicking 32.17 last season, but this year he has returned a wayward 19.23.
Hinkley believes the confidence hit from the goalkicking inaccuracy has now affected other parts of the 20-year-old's game.
"It affects his confidence, which affects his form," Hinkley said.
"He's been a pretty good converter over the journey. This year it just hasn't quite worked.
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"Confidence is a key ingredient, particularly for key forwards.
"It's all around his mindset, working through it. It's not too much more than that, because he's got a really sound technique and routine.
"But the problem he's got at the moment is he's emerging at the top of his run-up thinking 'I hope this is going to go through', and not believing it's going to go through.
"That happens to all footballers at some stage and all sports people at some stage. There's a little bit of self doubt that creeps in. You don't ignore it, you work with it."
Hinkley feels a return to the SANFL will help Georgiades.
"Mitch is a young, developing forward. And I have been through this journey with Todd (Marshall) over the time as well," Hinkley said.
"Sometimes there's just a time where they need to go back and work on some stuff and they'll come back and they'll be better."
Ninth-placed Richmond face the very real prospect of needing to beat Port Adelaide, Hawthorn, and Essendon in the last three rounds in order to secure a finals berth.
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Although Port Adelaide's finals hopes are over, Hinkley says his team won't be putting up the white flag.
"We have a responsibility to go with winning, that’s what we’re going to do," Hinkley said.
"Winning is a great development, it's really important.
"We’ve got a massive game against a team fighting for their life and have been one of the great teams.
"We’ve had great history against them, tough games, and unfortunately losing close ones (the 2020 preliminary final by six points). We want to play well and beat Richmond."
The Tigers will be without co-captain Dylan Grimes after he underwent hamstring surgery, while veteran Shane Edwards has been rested.