PORT Adelaide will hand the senior coaching reins to assistant Matthew Nicks for its first two NAB Challenge matches.
Senior coach Ken Hinkley will take a back seat in a move the Power hopes will help develop the team as well as Nicks, who is highly rated in coaching circles and seen as a future contender for senior jobs.
The former Sydney Swan, who retired in 2005 after 175 games, joined Port Adelaide in 2011 as a development coach under then coach Matthew Primus.
He has since progressed to defensive coach with the 2014 preliminary finalists.
"Nicksy’s work as defensive coach has been of a very high quality and we think it’s good for him, the coaching group and the players if he gets a chance to put the game plan together," Hinkley said.
"I think anything we can do to develop our coaches is going to help the team."
Nicks will coach the Power in Saturday's clash against West Coast in Norwood.
The 39-year-old said he appreciated the opportunity to test himself in the senior role.
"My role will be to help implement and coordinate, with our coaching group, what has been learnt over our pre-season so far”," Nicks said.
"This is a great chance for me to continue to develop my own coaching skills, sitting in the seat of the senior coach."
Port Adelaide will play their second NAB Challenge game against Richmond in Lavington before taking on Adelaide on March 21 at AAMI Stadium.

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