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Hocking yet to make call on Port AFL job
By Tim Dornin
16:56 AEST Tue Aug 14 2012

Port Adelaide caretaker coach Garry Hocking says winning more AFL games this season won't be crucial in any bid by him to keep the job next year.

Hocking says he still hasn't decided whether he wants to be the embattled club's senior coach in 2013 and doesn't plan to make that call until the end of his caretaker stint.

But he said wins in Port's last three games of the season wouldn't make a difference.

"I said right from the start, it's not a win-loss charter," Hocking told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's just about refocusing the group and getting them to play a really strong brand and competitive style of football."

Hocking said he considered the opportunity to step in as senior coach a challenge and one that he had been looking forward to.

"The weekend was another opportunity to soak it in and see where I'm heading but I'll make that decision (on the coaching job) in three weeks' time," he said.

Port take on West Coast at AAMI Stadium on Sunday in what will be Hocking's first home game since taking over from Matthew Primus last week.

He remained concerned over the Power's final-quarter fadeout against Hawthorn last weekend but said he was also pleased the team managed to win two quarters against one of the top sides in the competition.

"There were bits and pieces throughout the game that we really liked," he said.

"We put up a really good fight for two quarters but the other two quarters were unacceptable.

"In the next three weeks, I said to the players don't just count the games, but make the games count."

Port look set to welcome back three or four players from injury for the game against West Coast with Alipate Carlile, Tom Jonas, Chad Wingard and Jasper Pittard all pushing for selection.

But the team will be without key defender Troy Chaplin who will have knee surgery and miss the rest of the season.

Hocking said he was optimistic the free agent, who has been linked to a move to Richmond, would stay with the Power next season.

"Right across the year, he's shown he's got great leadership values," the coach said.

"Even now, he's not going to put the cue in the rack. He's going to have surgery, he's going to make sure he does all his rehab right and he's going to spend time with the playing group."


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