Kane Cornes not axed: Port coach Primus - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kane Cornes not axed: Port coach Primus

Steve Larkin 15/08/2011 06:58:56 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide coach Matthew Primus has taken the blame for his AFL club's worst season, but denied sacking triple best and fairest Kane Cornes.

Primus also quashed speculation that selection was being influenced by club hierarchy.

Primus said the heat was on many people at the Power, reeling from crushing losses in the past two weeks including their heaviest defeat, a 165-point thrashing by Hawthorn on Saturday.

That followed the club's previous heaviest loss just a week prior, a 138-point thrashing by Collingwood.

But Primus, with just two wins and headed for Port's first wooden spoon, scotched a report on The Age website that he had sacked Kane Cornes, the 28-year-old reigning club best and fairest,

"Kane has a contract here and as of the moment he is a required player," Primus told Adelaide radio station 5AA on Monday.

"He certainly hasn't been sacked or told he has been traded."

Primus accepted the blame for Port's woeful season, saying "the buck stops with me" but dismissed rumours that president Brett Duncanson and other board members were dictating selection.

"I pick the team every week and I have got no-one setting an agenda ... it's about what I believe in," he said.

"If I was a coach at a club and the board and the president were dictating who was playing, I wouldn't be the coach of the club."

The first-year coach made no apology for pursuing a rebuilding path which has left a core of senior players on the outer, including Kane Cornes, his now retired brother Chad, Brett Ebert, Daniel Motlop, Steven Salopek and Jacob Surjan.

"There are reasons why I have chosen the team I have, and I will live and die by that," Primus said.

"... No doubt this year we have questioned have we chosen the right people all the time? You do that when you have only won two games.

"When I went for the job, I told them categorically what I was looking at doing with our list.

"And I have said ad nauseam that I want to get games into our core group of 18 to 24-year-olds and I have done that, and that was always going to happen from day one.

"There are lots of issues we have to work through and I'm happy to take the blame and the pressure come on the senior coach regardless of it being my first year or 10 years .... in the end the buck stops with me."

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