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.

Stephen Silvagni and his son Jack Silvagni.
Stephen Silvagni opted not to attend a post-game presentation in the Carlton rooms for his son Jack's 100th game for the club. Pictures: Getty Images

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'.

OUCH: Shai Bolton savaged over 'mind-blowing' act in AFL season opener

WOW: Jeremy Cameron's call about pregnant partner before AFL season

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.”

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.

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.

Tigers and Blues players react to the final siren.
The Tigers and Blues were tied at the siren for the first time since 1972 in the AFL season opener. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

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."

With AAP

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