KEN HINKLEY was recruited from the Camperdown ( Victoria ) club by the Fitzroy Lions in 1987, playing 11 Games, kicking 21 Goals until the end of the 1988 Season. Fitzroy had played Hinkley in a forward role which had limited his development at the Lions. He transferred to the Geelong Cats for the 1989 Season, and retired from VFL/AFL Football at the end of the 1995 Season after playing 121 Games, kicking 58 Goals for the Cats. Geelong had identified Hinkley’s potential as a rebounding defender, a role he fulfilled with distinction.
Ken Hinkley was a strong mark for his light build, quite elusive in avoiding tacklers, a lovely disposer of the ball, and was quicker across the ground than it sometimes appeared, due to his calm and relaxed demeanour. He possessed an impressive spring for a mark ( refer to his cards in the 1994 Cazaly Classic Marks Collection ), and retained perfect positioning and balance in marking contests.
Hinkley was particularly strong and dominant during the 1991 and 1992 Seasons, when he was selected in the All Australian Team for each year as a half-Back flanker. He also won the Geelong Cats Best and Fairest Player Award in 1992, being surrounded by star-studded team-mates, and capped the great year with a third placing in the Brownlow Medal. Hinkley had the honour of playing 12 Finals matches with the Cats, but unfortunately his Grand Final appearances in 1992, 1994 and 1995 were as part of losing Teams. He had been Co- Captain of the Geelong Cats for the 1995 Season.
On his retirement as a VFL/AFL player at the end of the 1995 Season, Hinkley spent the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Seasons as Coach of the Mortlake Football Club in the strong Hampden League in the Victorian Country Football League. He was then attracted to return to his original Club, Camperdown, who he Coached to successive back to back Premierships in 1999 and 2000. St Kilda Saints had identified his Coaching potential at a higher level, and appointed Hinkley as an Assistant Coach for the 2001 Season. He completed this role before transferring to the Senior Coaches role at the Bell Park Football Club in the Geelong Football League for the 2002 and 2003 Seasons. This Coaching stint culminated in a Premiership victory in the 2003 Season.
The Geelong Cats sought out Hinkley and signed him as an Assistant Coach to Mark Thompson in 2004, a position he held for 6 Seasons until the end of the 2009 Season. He was part of a highly competitive Cats Team, and was a particularly strong contributor to Geelong’s sustained period of success. Hinkley was approached and signed by the new Gold Coast Suns franchise to build a New Team, in an Assistant Coaches role in support of Senior Coach, Guy McKenna. There have been unmistakable traits of Hinkley Magic in the development phases of the Gold Coast Suns playing style, and the Club is on the verge of making serious impact on some of the traditional Victorian Clubs.
On 8 October, 2012 after near misses for the Geelong, St Kilda and Richmond Senior Coaching roles, Ken Hinkley was announced as the new Senior Coach at the Port Power Football Club. He has a sound playing list, and will instil a will to win at all costs attitude in his players from his first Season at the helm in Season 2013. Hinkley has enjoyed a lengthy and successful apprenticeship as an AFL Assistant Coach, and I believe his astuteness and competitiveness will prove a healthy mix for lifting the Power up the AFL Ladder. It would be no surprise to have Port Power as part of the AFL Finals agenda during the 2015 Season.