Boak to Kochie: Players are flag-hungry

PORT Adelaide captain Travis Boak has a message for club president David Koch: Don’t worry about the players — they are fully invested in the Power’s chase for an AFL flag.

“There is no doubt every (Port Adelaide) player cares about winning a premiership,” Boak said. “That is all they want.

“And (Koch) knows that — and he saw that after the (home elimination final loss in extra time to West Coast on Saturday night) when he saw tears in the rooms and a lot of disappointment.

“We gave everything that we could.”

So far, Boak has not made a move to personally address Koch on his post-game remarks that took up the debate on coach Ken Hinkley’s selections to play the Eagles, the players’ adherence to Hinkley’s game plan — and their motivation.

Koch declared Port Adelaide only wanted players motivated by the chase for an AFL premiership.

“If they’re just playing for us because they love to play AFL,” said Koch, “they’re not players we want.”

Boak — and his leadership group — feel the question is answered by the pain the Power players carried out of the elimination final won on the last kick — a free kick — from West Coast midfielder Luke Shuey.

“We’ve spoken before — and we understand ‘Kochie’ is pretty passionate,” Boak said.

“And that is where it’s at,” added Boak, noting his relationship with the president is “open” to addressing any issue.

Boak endorsed Hinkley’s view that the Power — after missing the AFL’s top-eight finals in 2015-16 — had made “significant improvement” this season with a 14-8 count in the home-and-away series.

But Boak — in terms that should reassure Koch even more — will not declare the season successful, even though the Power met the non-negotiable demand to play finals again.

“We didn’t win the premiership — so it is pretty much a disappointing year,” Boak said. “That’s the way we look at it.

“We want the ultimate success — and we have not got it, so it is disappointing.

“There is no doubt everyone at this club wants a premiership.”

Port Adelaide’s coaching staff completed the end-of-season player reviews at Alberton on Wednesday. The club has eight players out of contract, including free-agent utility Jackson Trengove who is considering his options — that include the chance to return to Victoria where he could gain more in money, tenure on a contract and game time in the AFL.

By AFL rules, the AFL must make at least three changes to the list — two appearing obvious with Nathan Krakouer and Angus Monfries.

The trade market opens next month with the prospect of Port Adelaide revisiting its mid-season contact with former Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff’s management. The Lions midfielder is a free agent who is still to declare his intent for next season.

“He a pretty good player,” Boak said of the 27-year-old Rockliff. “Most clubs would want him — there is no doubt about that. He is certainly one the club will look at.

“Bringing a quality player to your club no doubt elevates your side — and elevates your midfield bringing someone like (Rockliff) in.”

michelangelo.rucci@news.com.au

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