AFL great and Hampden interleague coach Jonathan Brown says Port Fairy’s lack of commitment to representative football is a poor reflection on the club.
Emerging midfielder Kaine Mercovich is the 2017 grand finalist’s sole representative in the Bottle Greens squad to face Bendigo at Reid Oval on Saturday.
Brown, in his second year at the helm, labelled the Seagulls’ “attitude towards interleague footy disappointing”.
“The general attitude of their football club is poor and it’s no surprise they’ve had a lack of success as a football club,” Brown said at training on Thursday night.
“You look across the road and Koroit have won the last four (premierships). You work it out for yourself.”
Brown, a South Warrnambool export who went on to win three premierships with Brisbane, said Port Fairy had shown “a lack of respect for the people who put the squad together”.
“They should be very disappointed with their general attitude towards interleague,” he said.
“It is an area they need to have a good hard look at themselves frankly because they’re a strong club in the competition and they should be well represented.
“Mercovich’s enthusiasm and buy-in has been terrific and it’s a pity some of his fellow teammates didn’t share the same enthusiasm.”
Dan Nicholson, Matt Sully, Dylan Gunning, Colin Harwood and Sandy Robinson were named in the initial squad.
Brown said Robinson had contacted him about an injury concern this week.
“Sandy was terrific last year,” he said.
“Sandy is sore and copped a head knock last week and you never want to risk those things.”
Port Fairy president Ashley King said he was aware some of the Seagulls’ candidates were unavailable.
“It’s disappointing if our players didn’t communicate their availability,” he said.
“As a club we support interleague.”
King said the Seagulls were thrilled Mercovich was named in the Bottle Greens’ final team.
“He’s had a terrific season and it’s great recognition,” he said.