PORT Fairy coach Dan Nicholson and president Ashley King have defended the club’s reputation after Hampden interleague mentor Jonathan Brown questioned its commitment and communication.
Nicholson was one of six Seagulls players named in the initial Bottle Greens’ squad for their AFL Victoria Championships clash against Bendigo.
Only one, emerging midfielder Kaine Mercovich, made the final team.
Three-time AFL premiership player Brown was disappointed with the Seagulls, saying “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”.
King said Brown’s remarks did not reflect the Seagulls’ culture.
“Equally his comments about a lack of respect for interleague are similarly disrespectful to our club and the mountain of our volunteers, members and sponsors who contribute so much to provide our players the opportunity to play their chosen sport each weekend,” he said.
“We feel this comment is unfounded and has no insight into how our club operates and how it strives to be strong competitive force in all football and netball grades. He's had no presence around the club to make such a judgement.
“In relation to club interaction he has had two years interleague experience with our representative players. How aware is he of our values and codes of conduct we aspire to?”
Nicholson said he was disappointed with the situation.
“I had a 20-minute phone call to him on Friday, so to come out and say that is not great,” he said.
“We had a conversation on the injuries our players are going through. Matt Sully’s only played two games for the year and he’s got ongoing knee tendonitis, myself I’ve obviously got my foot issues.
“As far as Dyl Gunning goes, he’s been a pretty good servant of the Hampden league I reckon. I think he’s played the last three in a row, so for him to say he wants to have a week off, I think that’s acceptable.”
Nicholson said the Seagulls were constantly working on their club culture.
“I am pretty happy with how the club is going,” he said.
“We’ve come a long way from where we were but we’re the same as every club – we’ve still got room for improvement and areas we have to improve on.”