Matthew Primus has been appointed as senior coach of the Port Adelaide Football Club.
Primus, 35, has been appointed for an initial period of three years.
Primus won the chance to oversee the Power’s new on-field era after a demanding two-month selection process, overseen by a panel of six.
A dual All-Australian, Primus captained Port Adelaide for five seasons from 2001 to 2005. He played 157 AFL games between 1996 and 2005 (20 with Fitzroy in 1996 and 137 with Port Adelaide from 1997-2005).
Primus filled the senior coach role in a caretaker capacity for the last seven weeks of the 2010 season, following the departure of Mark Williams.
Port Adelaide President Brett Duncanson said Primus was the unanimous recommendation of the selection panel. The recommendation was endorsed unanimously yesterday by the Power Board after a final presentation from Primus.
“Matthew Primus will lead the Port Adelaide Football Club for the next three years - and we expect well beyond - as our club enters its next era,” Duncanson said.
“Matt has outstanding Port Adelaide heritage - but that was not a deciding factor in his appointment. He was the best candidate pure and simple at the end of a very demanding and competitive selection process.”
Duncanson said Primus had already begun putting his own stamp on the job.
“People should make absolutely no mistake - Matthew Primus is his own man,” Duncanson said. “He knows the Port Adelaide footy club, but has already shown he is prepared to make hard decisions.
“Matt began doing things his own way as soon as he stepped into the senior role as caretaker coach. Impressively, he did not feel the need to promote himself or those changes publicly.
“This team-first attitude is the hallmark of a great leader. Matt also has the clear respect of the playing group and will create a no excuses, constructive culture. That is what we are striving for.”
Primus said it was an honour to be appointed coach of Port Adelaide.
“It has been a dream of mine to one day coach this great club. I am thrilled and would like to sincerely thank the club for the opportunity,” Primus said.
“I would also like to thank our members and supporters, who have backed me not just over the last few weeks but throughout my playing career. Their support has been exceptional.
“I believe we have a really exciting playing list and there are so many exciting things happening off-field too, it’s just a great time to get this opportunity and I look forward to taking it with both hands.”
Power Chief Executive Mark Haysman thanked all candidates who took part in the selection process.
“We approached the selection process with an open mind but with the single-minded goal of finding the best possible coach for the next era of the Port Adelaide Football Club,” Haysman said.
“The candidates we interviewed - in particular our final short-list of four - were all very capable and highly professional people of great character. In the end though, Matthew Primus was the outstanding candidate.
“Matt now has an opportunity to take and shape what we all believe is an exciting list of talented young players over the next three years.”
Haysman said the selection process had involved seven stages and combined use of the AFL’s Coaching Effectiveness Research with the Power’s own specific needs.
“The process was certainly not a simple ‘presentation’ exercise,” Haysman said.
“The process of course assessed coaching and technical prowess, and asked candidates to outline their game plans and list management ideas and philosophies.
“It also involved a series of other assessment exercises as the process unfolded.
“These multiple assessment activities were designed to reflect the various challenges faced in the senior coach role and allow the panel to dig into the candidate’s motivation and capacity to perform the role effectively.
“We were particularly interested in constructive leadership and the ability to motivate and inspire others. Matthew Primus has those attributes in spades.”