Stephen Silvagni under fire over 'petulant' move after son Jack's 100th game
The Silvagni name is synonymous with Carlton, but Stephen's bitter departure from the club has some lingering effects.
Carlton great Stephen Silvagni has copped flak from AFL fans and commentators after it was revealed he had skipped a post-game presentation for his son Jack's 100th game for the club. Silvagni had a bitter falling out with the club in 2019 after he was sacked as list manager.
The Silvagni name is synonymous with the Blues, with Stephen's father Sergio also a premiership legend at the club. His absence from the presentation on Thursday night following the draw against Richmond was noted by AFL reporter Mitch Cleary, who reported he had 'opted to remain in the car'.
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Cleary was subsequently criticised by Jack's younger brother Ben, who wrote that he 'wasn't aware it was anyone's business'. Cleary defended his report, saying the absence had been noticed in the club rooms, with many asking where Stephen was for what was a moment of recognition for Jack.
Silvagni is now working for St Kilda under their new head coach Ross Lyon, another possible reason for his reluctance to enter the Carlton rooms. However the 312-game club legend was nonetheless criticised on Twitter, with sports presenter Jim Wilson describing his absence as 'disappointing and petulant', as well as 'very ordinary'.
Former Hawthorn star and Channel 7 commentator Luke Hodge also said it was a somewhat strange move from the club great. He said had he been in Silvagni's position it would have been an easy decision to make.
“If I was in his position I would have gone down to have the photo,” he said. “Jack played and there was a family photo and he was sitting in the car for the photo. I personally would have had a photo with my son playing his 100th game.”
The Silvagni fam celebrating Jack's 100th 👏😍💙 pic.twitter.com/9lGosdKfUu
— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) March 16, 2023
During Channel 7's coverage, fellow commentator Daisy Pearce added that no matter how awkward a Carlton reappearance might be for Silvagni, his absence for a key milestone in Jack's career was a worse look.
Carlton legend Stephen Silvagni was invited into the Blues rooms post-game for Jack’s 100th game presentation in front of family and friends.
But Jack noted in his speech that Stephen - now St Kilda list manager - opted to remain in the car #AFLTigersBlues
— Mitch Cleary (@cleary_mitch) March 16, 2023
People were asking where Stephen was given the milestone and highlighted what Jack had said - also putting into context he now works for a rival club
— Mitch Cleary (@cleary_mitch) March 16, 2023
Disappointing and petulant - very ordinary from SOS, what an opener @MCG 👍🎉
— Jim Wilson (@JimWilsonMedia) March 16, 2023
Pathetic from SOS. He'll regret that forever
— Troy (@reardo34) March 16, 2023
— Ashley Warren (@AshleyWarren75) March 16, 2023
Blues and Tigers settle for draw in AFL season opener
The atmosphere in the Blues rooms was already somewhat muted after Thursday night's draw against Richmond. Head coach Michael Voss said he was pleased with a number of things from the season opener, but added that key mistakes could potentially have cost them the game.
Richmond spearhead Tom Lynch stood tallest at the crucial moment to take a towering mark and slot his third goal for the Tigers, tying the scores at 8.10 (58) apiece with less than 30 seconds left on the clock at the MCG on Thursday night. The Blues managed one more thrust from the final centre bounce but off-season recruit Blake Acres dropped a mark just outside 50m that would have given him a shot after the siren to win the match.
Carlton forward Charlie Curnow looked to have defied Richmond's territorial dominance with three second-half goals, giving the Blues the upper hand late in the match. But Richmond, who enjoyed a 66-45 advantage in forward entries, would not lie down in front of a huge crowd of 88,084 fans.
Voss took a similar view to Richmond coach Damien Hardwick in saying his own side blew a golden chance at victory, but added there was a lot to like about the Blues' performance. They were a whisker away from victory despite not enjoying their usual clearance dominance, with Voss lauding his players' mental strength and ability to hang tough in the face of a late Richmond barrage..
"I can't emphasise enough that if that game happens last year, we lose by six goals," Voss said.
"For that game to play out the way it did and (for us) to still be in front and be a chance to win, and still be disappointed that we didn't get the result, that shows real progress in our group."
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