Polec and Voss continuing bromance at the Power

Jared Polec of the Power reacts after kicking a goal.
Jared Polec of the Power reacts after kicking a goal. JULIAN SMITH

MICHAEL Voss can put Jared Polec down as a reference if he ever decides to throw his hat back into the head coaching ring.

Few are better placed to critique the AFL great than the pacey wingman, having been mentored by him at Brisbane and now Port Adelaide.

Polec speaks glowingly of Voss, who was his first senior coach when drafted by the Lions in 2010 and is now assistant to Ken Hinkley at the Power.

Polec requested a trade back home to South Australia at the end of the 2013, just after Voss was given his marching orders after five years in charge at Brisbane.

He was joined by Voss at Alberton 12 months later after the three-time premiership captain enjoyed a short stint in the media.

Asked if he could see Voss back as a senior coach, Polec replied: "I definitely think so."

"I think when the time is right he would want to be a head coach," he said.

Polec said Voss, still only 42, had improved "massively" in his direction and guidance.

"He was probably young and still learning the coaching role," Polec said of Voss' time at the Lions.

"I think he's learnt a lot coming over to Port Adelaide ... really learnt a lot off Kenny and the other coaches."

Polec and Voss always had a strong relationship - even through their trying final days together in Brisbane.


Power coaches Michael Voss (left) and Ken Hinkley.
Power coaches Michael Voss (left) and Ken Hinkley. Daniel Kalisz

It's only improved now with Voss charged with looking after the Power midfield group.

"We were pretty good at Brisbane," Polec said.

"Those last six months when questions were being asked if I was going home and stuff, Vossy was so supportive. He wanted the best outcome for me. In the end, he helped me move from Brisbane to Port Adelaide ... helped me choose Port Adelaide.

"Now our relationship couldn't be better. We do lunch every week, talk about the way he wants me to play and stuff like that. He's been great support."

So too has Hinkley, who has been forced to challenge the 24-year-old after an outstanding first year at Port, when it last made finals.

After playing all 24 games in 2014, and the first five of 2015, Polec suffered a foot injury - specifically a stress fracture of the navicular bone - that was not only season-ending but also career-threatening.

Returning to the field last year, he struggled to recapture the dynamic run and carry so prominent in 2014, and was sent back to the SANFL mid-season to find confidence and form.

"Being put down is never a good feeling," he said.


Jared Polec of the Power celebrates a goal.
Jared Polec of the Power celebrates a goal. Adam Trafford/AFL Media

"Coming back, it wasn't going to be all that easy with the pressure coming up from the younger boys.

"But it's something that I definitely needed at the time."

Hinkley had been outspoken in his criticism of Polec.

"He knows me better than anyone," Polec said. "He does it differently to everyone. He understands what boys can handle and every now and then I do need a kick up the backside.

"He does it in a way he knows I can handle. He's been good like that. You've got to accept it and move on."

With the foot having "held up", a "happy" Polec has responded with what he calls his "most consistent season".

He's played 21 games - for a total of 83 - averaging a career-high 22 disposals and will be a key to the Power's premiership tilt.

"We've just got to believe in ourselves that we can challenge the top teams in the competition," he said.

"I see no do doubt we can ruffle a few feathers."

It starts with the Eagles in their elimination final tonight at the Adelaide Oval.

Topics:  afl brisbane lions michael voss port adelaide power

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