MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 09: Dylan Williams of the Power looks on during the 2023 AFL Round 13 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Port Adelaide Power at Marvel Stadium on June 9, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Port Adelaide senior coach Ken Hinkley has explained the reasons behind his semi-final selection decisions, which included leaving out forward Jeremy Finlayson and defender Dylan Williams.

After Brisbane trounced the Power last Saturday in a qualifying final, Port Adelaide is staring down the barrel of a straight-sets finals exit if it falls to GWS at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

 2023-09-16T09:40:00Z 
GWS WON BY 23 POINTS
Adelaide Oval
PORT   
70
FT
93
   GWS

Ahead of the weekend's anticipated contest, with the winner progressing to a preliminary final against Collingwood at the MCG, Hinkley made a pair of changes; omitting Finlayson and Williams at the expense of bouldering forward Charlie Dixon, who is returning from a foot injury that has kept him out of action since August.

Speaking on Friday afternoon about his exclusion of Finlayson, Hinkley noted 'the numbers' weren't in the left-footer's favour, in addition to Dixon's welcomed return.

"We've got Charlie (Dixon) back, Jeremy's been giving everything he's got all this year and, unfortunately, the numbers were probably against him a little bit, but Charlie coming back was also significant," Hinkley stated.

Meanwhile, while Williams was listed as out via omission, Hinkley explained his selection committee didn't want to risk another soft tissue injury to the defender.

"Soft tissue, I reckon, would be a genuine concern, that's why we haven't picked Dylan Williams," said Hinkley.

"Dylan came out of the game last week with a hamstring but trained all week, we were just a little bit reluctant to take an unnecessary risk. If we had players unavailable, Dylan would still play, but we didn't want to take that risk.

"The outcome of the game is usually the thing that people reflect on, and say 'did you take unnecessary risks', if you win, though, none of those questions come up. That's just [a] fact."

Fellow defender Trent McKenzie, who rolled his ankle against the Lions last weekend, found himself in Hinkley's selected side and is expected to play.

Asked about his tactical sub plans on Saturday, Hinkley stressed needing to 'get to the game' before deciding on his 23rd man.

"[We] won't know until we get to the game and we announce the team, so we'll wait and see what happens there, because, as you asked me some questions, we need to hold the right this week to nominate our sub based on [the need to] get to the game."

Discussing the high-stakes game itself, Hinkley, evidently raring to go, reminded the Giants of the 51-point fate they suffered the last time they faced Hinkley's Port at Adelaide Oval.

"It's a semi-final, it's a cut-throat final, they're (the Giants) marching towards a bit of belief in their own game, [but] what they do need to remember is they came here last time and got beat by 50 points, so hopefully that's the outcome we get (again) this time."

Adam Kingsley's GWS included Stephen Coniglio, who was a late out for the club's elimination final victory over St Kilda last weekend, with Nick Haynes (tactical sub) and Xavier O'Halloran (omitted) exiting at his expense.

Saturday's first bounce is scheduled for 7:10 PM (ACST).

 2023-09-16T09:40:00Z 
GWS WON BY 23 POINTS
Adelaide Oval
PORT   
70
FT
93
   GWS