Damien Hardwick and Gold Coast lose their temper over AFL ‘whiners’

The opening night of the AFL Draft was indeed chaotic, with a flurry of picks traded in live deals and bids for players flying all over the place.

At one point Geelong used a pick to bid on a player and then, with virtually no breath, traded the same pick to Essendon.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Harley Reid becomes No.1 on exciting AFL draft night.

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Sydney also caused chaos by using its first selection to force two clubs to throw a series of picks at two young players after back-to-back outings.

Previously, Gold Coast had to match an offer from North Melbourne for its Academy star Jed Walter.

Walter has been compared to Carlton striker and Coleman Medalist Charlie Curnow.

Jed Walter and Damien Hardwick on stage at Marvel Stadium during the AFL Draft. Credit: AFL photos via Getty Images

North Melbourne had two selections in the top 10, picks 2 and 3, and used pick 2 on Tasmanian midfielder Colby McKercher before calling out Walter.

But one media outlet questioned why North didn’t use its first pick on Walter, which would have forced the Suns to use more draft safeties to match the offer.

Fox Sports said “The biggest flaws in the AFL draft have been exposed again” and also suggested the two clubs had been involved in a “wink-wink” deal.

The media said that if they had bid on the player at pick 3, there was “absolutely no reason” why they shouldn’t have done it a pick earlier.

The suggestion that there had been some kind of behind-the-scenes arrangement in the club’s selection in October certainly enraged Gold Coast and their new coach Damien Hardwick.

Hardwick was so upset that he responded to a tweet saying Gold Coast had landed four first-round candidates for “very little”.

“Be better,” was his instruction to the media company, with a begging hands and palms emoji on his face.

That was the Dimma backhand before the club went with the king stroke.

After careful consideration, they finally joined the conversation the next day.

“Death, taxes and the whining of the Victorians,” they wrote.

They also used a salt shaker for an emoji.

To be fair, this is not the first time North Melbourne has had the opportunity to bid for a player who is tied to a rival club, preferring to give their player the prestige of being a higher draft pick.

In fact, North could have used its Pick 1 pick in 2021 to designate Collingwood father-son Nick Daicos, but instead opted not to force the Magpies’ hand and made their man – Jason Horne-Francis – the No. 1 pick .

But that didn’t stop the debate from breaking out on social media. Most fans suggested Gold Coast had been given “gifts.”

But others told Hardwick – Richmond’s three-time premiership coach – to get used to the AFL media’s Victorian bias.

“Get used to the Vic biased media Dimma,” one fan wrote.

“The Suns are the media’s punching bag. We can’t do anything right at the SUNS without the media twisting it and creating a negative story!”

Another fan wrote: “Well said coach, the academy has started work and now the complaints about it are starting.”

And another: “In the AFL everyone wants to whine. Positive stories are never written. This is a great story for the AFL to have four players on the Gold Coast who are good enough to be drafted. Great day for the national game.”

And another: “VFL media. I’m sure when Geelong landed all those F/S (father-son picks) you shouted, “This is good for footy.””

Werribee players Shaun Mannagh and Sam Clohesy have met with several AFL clubs and both are ready to take their chance as mature-age recruits.

Werribee players Shaun Mannagh and Sam Clohesy have met with several AFL clubs and both are ready to take their chance as mature-age recruits.

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: jamesbrien@24ssports.com.

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