KANE Cornes understands the criticism of his decision to retire but that negative media attention has upset Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas.

Last week Cornes announced this Sunday's clash against Richmond would be his 300th and final game in the AFL after he'd accepted a position with the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service. 

High profile trio Matthew Lloyd, Tony Shaw and Mark Ricciuto branded the 32-year-old selfish for walking away from the game mid-season. 

Cornes told reporters he understood how debate over his decision made a good story but Thomas believed it went too far. 

"I can say this where probably Kane can't, I was a bit disappointed with it," Thomas said. 

"This is a guy who has contributed so much to the game and to our club, who was sitting with the senior coach in a situation that was unique, that I thought was handled as well as could possibly have been handled.

"When you've got that, I would have thought the arguments are gone because it really is a matter for the playing group, the coaching group and Kane and the club. 

"Everyone was saying it is [the right decision] – that's where the debate should have ended and I'm glad that it has." 

Thomas labeled the four-time best and fairest winner "one of the most revered players in our club's history". 

On Sunday he'll become just the fifth player in Port Adelaide's 145 years to have reached 300 senior games for the club. 

Cornes rated his run-with job on Brisbane Lions legend Simon Black in the 2004 Grand Final as his greatest individual performance. 

The reigning Norm Smith Medalist was kept to just 15 disposals as the Power ended the Lions' run of three straight premierships to claim their first. 

Black texted Cornes on Thursday, crediting the retiring Port Adelaide midfielder with making him a better player. 

The text followed similar sentiment from Adelaide champion Andrew McLeod. 

"[Black] said 'loved our battles, you made me a better player, you made me a better competitor' and that's exactly the way I feel about him and about the other great players that I've played on," Cornes said. 

"That's why I was keen to start tagging when I first came to the club because I just learned so much off those players.

"I wouldn't be sitting here today if it wasn't for them."