Where did my form go? John Butcher looms as a key to resurrecting the Power's on-field fortunes in 2013
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Can Ken Hinkley turn things around for Port?
Hinkley may not have been a shock selection to coach the club, especially after more highly-credentialled coaches announced they were not interested in the job, but he is definitely a departure from the way the club has selected coaches in the past.
As the first Port Adelaide coach not to have had a prior association with the club or its SANFL affiliate since Fos Williams joined the club from West Adelaide as a captain-coach in 1950, Hinkley is a serious break from tradition. But can he deliver results?
Hinkley has learned the coaching game from two of the greats - under Malcolm Blight when he was an assistant during Blight's troubled reign at St Kilda in 2001, and under Mark Thompson at Geelong between 2004 and 2009, where he was a key part of the Cats' two premierships in that time.
His recent stint at Gold Coast gives him a good grounding from how to build a team up from the very bottom, which will also stand him in good stead at Port.
Hinkley is a very astute coach and given some time and faith by the Port Adelaide board he should be able to turn things around. Whether he gets it or not is another matter entirely.
Was Travis Boak worth the fuss?
The way the media were carrying on about Boak leaving Port Adelaide to join a Melbourne club last year, you could have been forgiven for thinking he was Chris Judd or Scott Pendlebury, instead of a guy that averages just a tick under 22 disposals a game.
Port Adelaide were obviously relieved to retain his services at the end of last season, mostly because he has so much potential. But this is the year where he must start to live up to the hype, if Port are going to climb off the bottom of the ladder.
Boak is already Port Adelaide's best clearance player, but it really is his disposal efficiency that he needs to work on to become one of the elite midfielders in the competition. If he can start hitting targets with monotonous regularity it will speed up the club's ability to deliver it into the forward line, which will help address the club's scoring problems.
Can John Butcher start to carve up defenders?
Two years ago, Butcher was the talk of the AFL after playing the last four games of the season, kicking 11 goals, including bags of six against the Western Bulldogs and four against Essendon, and taking 18 marks deep inside Port Adelaide's forward line. Most exciting of all was the fact he was coming out of contract. He did the right thing and re-signed with Port Adelaide but last year that four-game form evaporated.
He managed just eight appearances due to form and injury issues and kicked another 11 goals, but looked a shadow of the man that finished the 2011 season so strongly.
This pre-season he will be able to add some further bulk to his frame and with any luck he will leave his hip injury behind him for a whole season, giving Port a power forward to revolve their game plan around.
How will the defence cope without Troy Chaplin?
Port Adelaide may have got adequate compensation but they still lost plenty during the free agency period last year. Losing Danyle Pearce was painful, but key defender Chaplin's absence will be more difficult to cover.
Despite being comprehensively beaten in the midfield against the good sides last year, Port's defence was never their biggest problem, and Chaplin was a big part in ensuring more big scores weren't kicked against the Power.
Chaplin was also a big game player, with his two best games last year both coming in Showdowns.
While Chaplin will be sorely missed, Port Adelaide hit the trade period looking for a suitable replacement and they may have found one in former GWS player Jack Homsbch.
Hombsch showed plenty of promise playing down back in the first six games of last season for GWS and looks like he will develop into a great defender. Playing alongside Alipate Carlile and the continually improving Jackson Trengove, Port seemed to have a core group of defenders, well suited to repel the many attacks they will face in 2013.
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