Ken Hinkley talks to his players during this year’s Showdown. Picture SARAH REED
Ken Hinkley talks to his players during this year’s Showdown. Picture SARAH REED

‘It’s insane’: Wild coaching proposal

As the Adelaide Crows continue their search for a new head coach, the Footy Classified panel has discussed a left-field suggestion.

"Do you think they'll ask the question of Ken Hinkley?" host Craig Hutchison asked on Monday night.

"He's got one year to go, he already lives in the town, Port are noncommittal on his future - do you think if they came knocking and said 'here's three-years' that he would have a good look at it?"

"Hinkley would be the best candidate," Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd said. "More so than any young coaches out there."

Carlton great Chris Judd questioned whether it would be "palatable" to Crows fans to have a former Port Adelaide coach at the helm.

Journalist Caroline Wilson suggested that wouldn't be an issue, noting Adelaide appointed Phil Walsh after he'd been a long-time Power assistant, but stepped on the wild proposal before it went any further. "It's insane," she said. "Come on."

Adelaide powerbroker Mark Ricciuto is torn on the merits of appointing an experienced AFL mentor or younger coach to replace Pyke.

Ricciuto will lead a four-member panel tasked with finding a successor to Pyke, who quit last week.

But Ricciuto says he's "not set" on whether to pick an experienced head coach or someone untested in the top job.

"There's positives of both," Ricciuto told Triple M radio. "We went down the older one … Phil Walsh might have been the oldest ever first-time head coach when we appointed him. So I do like the experience and maturity and knowledge of an older coach.

"But I also know the game is changing and we have got a different generation of players that need different things to what we did 10 or 20 years ago."

Ken Hinkley and Don Pyke. (AAP Image/David Mariuz)
Ken Hinkley and Don Pyke. (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

Crows chief executive Andrew Fagan will join Ricciuto on the selection panel. Two others - another board member and a person from outside the club - are yet to be announced.

Other potential candidates with past experience as a head coach include sacked Fremantle boss Ross Lyon and Michael Voss, who coached Brisbane for five seasons and has been an assistant coach at Port Adelaide since the 2015 season.

Voss has openly expressed a desire to again become a head coach and this season interviewed for the Carlton job awarded to David Teague.

Candidates without head coaching experience include the favourite Scott Burns, understood to have been pipped for the Crows' job by Brenton Sanderson in late 2011. Burns has spent stints as an assistant coach at West Coast, Collingwood and now Hawthorn.

Other potential applicants could include current assistant coaches Ben Rutten (Essendon), Nathan Bassett (Port), Matthew Nicks (GWS) and Justin Longmuir, currently at Collingwood but considered a frontrunner for Fremantle's vacant head coach role.

Adelaide's only premiership coach, Malcolm Blight, urged the club to appoint a younger coach given the club was entering rebuilding mode with their playing group.

"It is going to be a much younger group than what Don Pyke has had … you would love to see a younger coach grow with them," Blight told 5AA radio.



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