Port Adelaide’s Ken Hinkley has been named coach of the year for 2020, but he can’t help but wonder if he made a crucial mistake in his team’s preliminary final loss to Richmond.
Hinkley was announced the winner of the coaching award named after AFL great Allan Jeans, finishing with 236 votes to beat Brisbane’s Chris Fagan (191 votes) and Geelong’s Chris Scott (154 votes) on Tuesday night.
It’s the second time Hinkley has won the award after also taking the honours in his first season as coach in 2013.
Hinkley guided Port from 10th on the ladder in 2019 to the preliminary final this year.
Port also became just the third side in the AFL era, and first for 20 years, to top the table throughout an entire season.
But the six-point preliminary final loss to Richmond still plays on his mind, and he can’t help but wonder if he could have done more in the box.
“They (the players) were giving me everything with effort and energy out on the ground,” Hinkley told AFL360.
“And you think, ‘gee, could I have done more?’
“We just needed one more decision. I look at it as not one more mistake from the players, but one more good decision from us as the coaches and we may have gotten over the line.”
When asked what he would have done differently, Hinkley was frank with his answer.
“I would have filled the stoppage up a bit more. In the last quarter Richmond got on top at the stoppage,” he said.
“I should have helped support them a bit more, and that’s what burns a little bit.
“If I could have helped a bit more, I probably would have done that.”