AFL rookie told to 'pull his head in' after 'unacceptable' behaviour

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Jason Horne-Francis, pictured here in action for North Melbourne.
Jason Horne-Francis has been called out for his 'unacceptable' behaviour. Image: Getty/Fox Footy

North Melbourne rookie Jason Horne-Francis has come under fire from Kangaroos legend David King, who has described the No.1 draft pick’s attitude as a ‘massive issue’ for the club.

Horne-Francis was visibly frustrated during the Roos’ 49-point thrashing at the hands of GWS Giants on Sunday.

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The 18-year-old’s angst bubbled to the surface when he was involved in a heated verbal exchange with veteran ruckman Todd Goldstein during the half-time interval.

Speaking on Fox Footy’s 'First Crack' following the game, King highlighted the flash point as an example of broader issues surrounding Horne-Francis’ behaviour.

“They’ve got a massive issue with the No. 1 pick – he is playing his own game at the moment,” King said.

“He needs to pull his head in, it’s as simple as that. I know he’s a star factor player. He’s abusing his teammates on field.

"There’s problems with his own game that he’s not really presenting his best footy, yet he’s happy to spray guys that are 300-gamers.

“Here’s Goldstein trying to tap the ball to him, which becomes the source of a heated discussion at half-time.

“Now if you want to learn anything at 18 years of age going into an AFL system, you do not know the lot. You’re not the finished product, so listen to players that are trying to help you.

“It’s a massive issue in his game and it’s a real problem for this kid — from day one that’s been his mannerisms.

Hugh Greenwood and Jason Horne-Francis, pictured here in action for North Melbourne against GWS.
Hugh Greenwood and Jason Horne-Francis (R) in action for North Melbourne against GWS. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“I know you can say he’s frustrated with them not winning, but this abusing your teammates.

"I think it’s counter productive to what the group are trying to achieve, and I wonder what they’re doing down there to rein that in, because this has been a problem for two months now.”

Former Hawthorn forward Ben Dixon agreed with King’s assessment, describing Francis-Horne’s antics as ‘unacceptable’.

“Turn around and listen to what he’s got to say to teach you how to play,” Dixon said in reference to the altercation with Goldstein.

“If you’re No.1 draft pick and you disrespect someone like that, I’d be dropping you… I’d be saying, ‘mate you’re going down to VFL football until you pick your bottom lip up and your attitude picks up.’

"Because it’s unacceptable and it’s week-in-week-out that he dishes it up.”

Jason Horne-Francis in hot water over tackle

To make matters worse for Francis-Horne, he is set to come under scrutiny from the match review officer after he connected with a swinging arm to the head of Giants midfielder Josh Kelly in the third quarter of the contest.

North Melbourne coach David Noble defended his prized draft pick, saying it is all part of the ‘learning’ process for the teenager.

“He’s a young guy, a young man learning the caper,” Noble said.

“He’s got high standards, high expectations, so there’s some frustration out there, there’s no doubt.

"But I don’t think it’s limited to him.”

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