Hinkley latest COVID out as Dogs, Saints ravaged, new Roos boss wants ‘positive vibes’

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley will miss the Power’s trip to Alice Springs to tackle Melbourne after being the latest COVID case to hit the AFL.

Hinkley has put in place health and safety protocols and will join eight players from Friday morning who have been forced to miss their teams’ round 18 games.

Assistant coach Nathan Bassett will step in before the match, but Power football manager Chris Davies has said the coaching group will take on Hinkley’s responsibilities as a collective, while the coach will digitally connect to the box on match day.

“First of all, Ken feels fine,” Davies said.

“He will continue to contribute in the build-up to Sunday’s game and will be hooked up to the coaches on game day, while he is isolating at home.

“Fortunately, we have been planning several scenarios over the past few months, including the impact of Covid on our coaching group.

Forwards coach Nathan Bassett will coordinate messages across the lines at each break, while midfield coach Brett Montgomery remains focused on instructing the midfield group, who will be crucial to the result on Sunday.

“And Chad Cornes will continue his usual role as a defensive coach.

“No other coaches or players have been affected at this stage, although we remain vigilant and closely monitor any symptoms.”

After only isolated cases in the first four months of the AFL season, the recent COVID outbreak in Brisbane, which left them severely understaffed against Essendon, has seen a peak across the league.

Hardest hit this week are the Western Bulldogs, with star striker Aaron Naughton, midfielder Lachie Hunter and utility company Josh Schache all excluded from their clash with St Kilda. However, the Saints have also been hit by the loss of veteran midfielder Seb Ross and young shooter Marcus Windhager.

Brisbane ruckman Oscar McInerney, Collingwood backman Isaac Quaynor and Melbourne premiership player Harrison Petty are some of the other names to miss.

The drama coincides with the league lifting vaccine requirements for players and staff, opening the door for former Blue and Lion Liam Jones and Cam Ellis-Yolmen to return to the AFL next season, as well as AFLW star Georgia Patrikios.

The trio were forced out of the competition last year due to the competition’s mandatory vaccine policy.

“The health and safety of our players, staff and the wider community has been one of the guiding principles for the AFL’s continued response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” AFL Director Andrew Dillon said in a statement on Thursday.

“Our AFL industry has continued to adapt to the circumstances ahead, and while we have scrapped the mandatory vaccine mandate, we continue to believe that vaccinations are the best form of defense in minimizing the impact of COVID, with a focus on now to stay informed about all recommended boosters.

“We will continue to monitor the COVID situation as it evolves. If we need to adjust in the coming weeks and months, we will do so in consultation with the respective governments and medical professionals.

“As an industry, we are committed to providing a safe environment for all of our people and doing what we can to reduce the risk and impact of transmission of COVID-19 within the community.”

Power coach Ken Hinkley looks on

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Roos janitor after ‘positive vibes’ for the rest of the season

North Melbourne interim coach Leigh Adams is hoping to lighten the mood on Arden Street amid a bleak season for the club.

Adams is gearing up to take charge for the first time against Richmond on Saturday, following David Noble’s resignation during the week.

With De Roos finishing last on the ladder with just one win for the season, expectations are low, but Adams says improving the mood around the club is his number one goal.

“We want it to be really fun, we want our boys to play to their potential and their talent and really show how we can play as a football club,” Adams told media on Friday morning.

“If that means we can win a few games, that would be great, and we go into every game thinking we can win.

“But we just want the guys to be able to express themselves on the pitch and play really exciting football.”

Offensive football will be the order of the day for the Roos, averaging less than 56 points per game for the season, with the club scoring more than 100 points less than the second-worst side of the league all year round. west coast.

“We’re going to try to give the guys a little more freedom in attack, and let them play what they see in front of them,” Adams said.

“We want to score as fast as we can and as much as we can, and we can’t let defenses get behind the football.

“It can sometimes mean making a few mistakes, but we’re just going to encourage the guys to keep going, make mistakes and then try to clean them up.”