Jason Horne-Francis just wasn’t “up for the game” at North Melbourne as the Kangaroos confirmed they saw no homesickness red flags when they drafted him from South Australia with pick one.
Just a day after Horne-Francis said he wanted “stability” as the reason for his trade to Port Adelaide, North list manager Brady Rawlings said the club had to let him go because they didn’t trust his “mindset” to return to the club. Rose.
“Obviously we keep coming back to it (the decision to draft Horne-Francis) with what we’ve done. Everything came back really strong,” he said.
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“We didn’t think we were going to get the best out of him in the mindset he’s probably going to be in (if the trade wasn’t facilitated).
“We felt the best thing we could do is move on and get some currency for him this year and we can go to the draft and pick some players – top characters and players who want to be at our football club.”
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Fox Footy’s David King said the Horne-Francis swap was “really sad” as the Kangaroos have now given up their picks from the past two seasons to sit with picks two and three in 2022.
“I think you have to read between the lines with the Jason Horne-Francis information coming from both sides really,” he said on the day of the trade.
“Jason Horne-Francis said the North Melbourne Football Club was unstable, he felt he didn’t get support – I don’t think North Melbourne could invest more support in this guy.”
“They had a 432 game legend, the game record holder (Brent Harvey) strapped to his hip for 18 months.
“I’m not sure what more you could have done Monday through Friday to help him be at his best on the weekends.”
“I think it’s easy to wash the mud once these players have gone, but the North Melbourne Football Club felt they had to get out of Jason Horne-Francis’ way.” They had to stop on this road.
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“It’s really sad that this is the case.
“I’ve never seen a number one not get into the fight.
“To pull the strings so early and be done during your time at a club that is clearly struggling because they’re 18th when you get them … you just cut and run.
“I’ve never seen that before. I wish him well at Port Adelaide, but you sense there is some anger about what has happened in the last six months.”
North Melbourne ended up arguably one of the big losers of the Horne-Francis trade period and pick one exited the mega four-club deal on Monday.
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They now hold picks two and three heading into this year’s draft – with Brisbane expected to leapfrog them to nab father and son Will Ashcroft.
Complicating matters is the fact that the future first-round pick they received from Port Adelaide is tied to the Power’s success in 2023.
Port Adelaide list boss Chris Davies said the club was not concerned by any perceived behavioral issues with Horne-Francis following his controversial first season at the Roos.
“From our perspective, Jason’s character was not in question before the draft year,” he said.
“We think we’ve got some really good players around us that he can learn from – Ollie Wines, Travis Boak – guys who I’m sure will show Jason the way he needs to behave to be a top footballer.” “
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