Ross Lyon turns on St Kilda fans over ugly act towards Jason Horne-Francis

The Saints coach has taken a shot at his own club's supporters for booing the Port Adelaide youngster.

Ross Lyon, pictured here alongside Jason Horne-Francis.
Ross Lyon has lashed out at St Kilda fans who booed Jason Horne-Francis. Image: Getty

Ross Lyon has called out St Kilda fans who booed Jason Horne-Francis on Friday night during Port Adelaide's upset win over the Saints. Horne-Francis has been booed by opposition fans for a number of weeks after his move to Port from North Melbourne last year.

The 19-year-old was outstanding in Port's seven-point win over the ladder-leading Saints on Friday night at Marvel Stadium, racking up 11 clearances and 18 contested possessions. But it marked the latest game in which he has been roundly booed by opposition fans.

'NOT THE CASE': Wayne Carey comes clean in new affair admission

'PART OF THE GAME': Jimmy Bartel calls for change amid AFL 'disgrace'

The No.1 draft pick only stayed at North Melbourne for one year before moving to Port Adelaide in the off-season. The move has been used as fuel for rival fans to boo the teenage superstar, sparking ugly debate across the AFL world.

Two weeks ago, Port coach Ken Hinkley lashed out and strongly defended Horne-Francis. And on Friday night, Lyon sensationally turned on his own fans for booing the 19-year-old.

Lyon referred to American comedian Dave Chappelle in defending Horne-Francis, saying "let's not punch down on a 19-year-old." He added: "People were doing as a mob that they wouldn't do as individuals. Maybe just check yourself ... there's a lot of mental stress of players.

"If you're doing it to put him off his game ... well, clearly it doesn't work, which is good for the kid, so maybe don't boo him."

Hinkley said Horne-Francis showed his power in the hard-fought win. "Play on - we've made our point," he said. "Jase will grow, he'll be okay. He knows one thing for certain. His footy team is in his corner."

AFL greats slam 'embarrassing' booing of Jason Horne-Francis

The ugly treatment of Horne-Francis also left a number of AFL greats unimpressed. Before the game, St Kilda assistant coach Brendon Goddard said: “I find out odd and very disturbing … I’d be very disappointed if I was to hear St Kilda supporters boo.”

Garry Lyon said at half-time: “That’s embarrassing from the St Kilda footy club. I don’t know why they’re doing it, their club’s flying.

“Everyone has paid their money, has the right to boo. I don’t like it. You are entitled (to boo), but sometimes the reflection is on you, and not the player.”

Former Collingwood player and coach Nathan Buckley said he felt for Horne-Francis and went through a similar situation. “As someone who’s been on the receiving end of it, you just gotta continue to do what you do, focus on what you can control in front of you, eventually people will work out … they lose the interest,” Buckley said. “I wish that us (commentators) mentioning it would help it stop, but I know my concern is that we’re bringing attention to it and I don’t know if it makes it worse.”

Adelaide Crows champion Eddie Betts likened it to the situation surrounding Adam Goodes in which he was mercilessly booed before calling an end to his career. “They don’t know what they’re booing for … this is a 19-year-old kid,” Betts said. “All he needs to do is continue to play great footy, and dominate.”

Jason Horne-Francis, pictured here celebrating with teammates after Port Adelaide's win over St Kilda.
Jason Horne-Francis celebrates with teammates after Port Adelaide's win over St Kilda. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Horne-Francis produced a best-afield performance at Marvel Stadium as the Power honoured long-time football department secretary Di Pounsett, who died this week aged 69. "She was Port Adelaide. That's what we think of her," Hinkley said.

"She'd like me to say funny things around her. She was the hardest lady that you could possibly want to work with - and give you a clip when you didn't think you deserved it.

"But you knew who was boss, and get it right from now. Chris (Port football manager Chris Davies) and I weren't bosses in this footy club - Di was."

with AAP

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.