Perfect Port Adelaide enjoying Gold Coast adventure

Undefeated and top of the AFL ladder after four rounds, Port Adelaide continue to embrace life in their extended Gold Coast hub.

A scintillating combination of attacking football and stout defence has produced a stunning percentage of 236.3 for Ken Hinkley's squad - a staggering 105.2 percent higher than the upstart Gold Coast in second spot.

Swimming against a tidal wave of dour low scoring contests across the AFL, the Power have kicked a league-best 44 goals thus far, with vice captain Hamish Hartlett identifying the club's adaptable game style as a reason for their success.

"The first three games that we played this year were all in greasier, slippery conditions but with the way we set up offensively we still managed to kick some decent scores," Hartlett told ESPN. "The game on the weekend against West Coast it was a little bit drier, so we found different methods of scoring being able to use our skills a little bit more."

In the early rounds, Port Adelaide used that versatility to unlock a deadly inside/outside combination when it comes to possessing the football, leading the league in contested disposals while ranking second in the uncontested variety.

In a competition that has seemingly become obsessed with defensive structures and avoidance of risk, it's Hinkley's faith in the playing group's game sense that stands out for Hartlett.

"He's put a lot of faith in us over the last 12 to 18 months on what we are seeing and feeling out on the ground. If we feel like we can move the ball quickly then go for it," Hartlett explained. "He's really encouraged the young guys that have come into our group over the last couple years to play with freedom which has really helped us and our ball movement."

The youthful injection of Xavier Duursma, Connor Rozee and Zac Butters has not only electrified the Port faithful, but injected life into the club on and off the field.

"They're hard working, they're willing to learn off the field, they want to improve all the time which is what you want in your football club," he says. "They do exactly what the team requires of them whether that means some games they kick three or four goals and some games they are a bit quieter, they don't really care as such, they are just happy to do what is required of them from the team which is a fantastic trait."

That youthful exuberance has extended off the field, with the Power now just days away from their third game on the Gold Coast hub.

With an abundance of free time on their hands, rounds of golf and trips to the beach have filled the days, while poker and FIFA tournaments run the evenings among the playing group.

Missing his girlfriend and dog back home in Adelaide, Hartlett isn't shying away from the difficulty hub life brings, revealing the Power's secret to success has come down to confronting the challenges upfront.

"You need to understand and realise the situation you are in and speak about it first and fore most," he says. "Put any concerns you have out on the table, address them as a whole club as well as you possibly can which we did really well before coming over here.

"There's no doubt that we are having some downtime and really enjoying ourselves when we get a chance to but when we need to train hard and put the work in, we're making sure we are doing that.

"I can't fault anyone's attitude since we've been here, it's been a really successful few weeks and hopefully we can finish it off."

Soon-to-be 30, Hartlett has played in just one final since the Power's 8-point Preliminary Final loss to Hawthorn in 2014. While many outsiders are frantically attempting to discredit an eventual premier in 2020, that fleeting taste of a deep finals run has the classy midfielder as hungry as ever.

"You certainly draw on those situations and understand that it is incredibly difficult to play finals footy in any given year," Hartlett tells ESPN. "I guess when you are a little bit older and in the twilight of your career the motivation to want team success and to play finals football certainly becomes more real so there's no doubt for some of us older guys it's a big motivating factor."

With the path to a premiership assault riddled with uncertainty, Hartlett and Port Adelaide remain focused on the immediate future, beginning with a blockbuster clash against Brisbane Lions at the GABBA.

"They'll prove to be our biggest challenge for the year so far but it's one that we're desperate to have a go at. Both teams are playing exceptional football, both offensively and defensively so what better way to test where we're at than up against the opposition that are arguably in the best form of the competition.

"I can't wait, it's going to be a cracking game. I think there's going to be a bit of a crowd there too which is something different to what we've experienced over the last month as well so we can't wait."