'I'm staying': Hinkley says he'll see out contract
PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has confirmed he'll be staying at the club for next year's season after rumours speculated he'd return to the Gold Coast to replace sacked Suns coach Rodney Eade.
"What I can tell you is that I am contracted and happily contracted to be with Port Adelaide for the 2018 season," he said on FIVEaa radio on Monday.
Triple M's Andrew Jarman said the 50-year-old had close to seven figures thrown on the table.
"He was offered close to $1 million a year," he told Rush Hour.
The Australian reported Hinkley requested a release from the final season of his contract with the Power in a bid to make an immediate move to the Suns.
"We have been talking. There's no doubt about that," he said.
"There has been some interest from outside of Port Adelaide. There has never been any doubt in my mind that this group of players that we are in it together ... we're starting to get somewhere again. At some stage in the future that will hopefully take care of itself."
The Australian's report claimed tension between Hinkley and chairman David Koch was responsible for the messy situation.
Koch publicly ridiculed Power players after being defeated by the Eagles at the same time Hinkley was publicly supporting his playing group.
"We don't want players who are living their dream just by playing AFL footy," Koch said at a Port Adelaide function following their loss to West Coast. "If they're not prepared to win a premiership for this club, we basically don't want them. Let us know and we'll trade them."
But the senior coach says his relationship with "Kochie" is still peachy after discussing the blow-up following their disappointing finals loss.
"It's still strong, as it is with Keith (Thomas)," he said. "We said when we first got together that the three of us (would) have to stay solid on every issue we possibly can.
"There's no doubt some of David's comments last week perhaps came out not exactly the way he'd like them - and David and I have had that conversation. There's no doubt at all he wants the best for the Port Adelaide football club.
"What has David done for (me) as a coach? He's given me everything I could possibly ask for to be a success as a coach.
"If he made a little slip here or there, I'll live with that because he's pretty supportive in most other things."
AFL great Dermott Brereton said Hinkley's return to the Sunshine State was the wrong choice for the 50-year-old.
"I'm not sure he was the right person for Gold Coast anyway," he told SEN's The Run Home.
"I think it was a shot in the dark to get him and I don't think the Suns really thought they could land him."
Hinkley denied rumours he'd be staying at Port Adelaide until 2021.
"(It's) speculation. We have spoken and we will continue to talk and I'm really, really hopeful that something will happen quickly," he said.