AFL legend Wayne Carey has hit back at Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson after he declared Sydney's match-winner Tom Papley is among the AFL's best at milking free kicks.
The Swans snapped a four-game losing streak and compounded Clarkson's woes on Saturday afternoon, recording an upset seven-point win at a slippery SCG.
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A fired-up Papley booted four goals to grab best-on-ground honours and top spot on the Coleman medal leaderboard, helping his team to come from behind and triumph 9.6 (60) to 7.11 (53).
But the match-winning performance was overshadowed by a candid critique from four-time premiership mentor Clarkson.
"He milks a free kick as good as anyone in the competition and he did so again," Clarkson told reporters.
"You just wish they were consistently paid to everyone who is knocked off the ball like that. There were five on either side tonight and they paid one."
Only a couple of weeks ago, Sydney Swans coach John Longmire had a go at Richmond coach Damien Hardwick for his post-match analysis of the Swans' tactics.
Upon hearing Clarkson’s comments on Papley he appeared shocked, but again remained resolute and refused to go further.
But Carey has taken aim on behalf of Papley and labelled Clarkson a ‘hypocrite’ for taking aim at players from other teams, but shielding his players from criticism.
“Clarko defends his players and his footy club like no other. He’s high and mighty about you can’t say anything about my team or my players or anything and then he comments, so he’s a hypocrite. He’s a hypocrite,” Carey said on Triple M radio.
“If anyone says anything about his players he’s the first one to jump up and down so for him to comment on Papley, it’s hypocritical.”
The AFL legend said he has spoken to the Hawks coach in the past about pointing fingers.
“I’m telling you, I’ve had conversations with Alastair Clarkson about we’re all ex-players, coaches, players you’re all in the media but we’re in this together and he’ll defend his footy club, so what he did with Papley is hypocritical,” Carey added.
Longmire refuses to elaborate on Clarkson
Longmire, whose friendship with Clarkson dated back to their time as North Melbourne teammates, added he had little interest in calling his mate to debrief.
"No, I'll just worry about us," he said.
The pair clashed in 2018, when Clarkson had accused Sydney's players of "getting away with blue murder", but this bust-up might strain the friendship much further given it is a personal attack on Papley and will take the shine off the Swans' hard-fought victory.