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Port Adelaide Jason Horne Francis recruit North Melbourne preliminary draft surgery pre-season slam ditch latest praise

There seems to be no love lost between Jason Horne Francis and his former club North Melbourne.

Despite a former first draft pick who only spent one season at the Kangaroos before his surprise trade request last year, the teenager has been seen furtively criticizing his former club’s coaching habits.

Returning after major leg surgery late last year, Horn Francis could only praise his new club Port Adelaide when he spoke on Sunday.

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“There are no problems with (his legs) now other than some heavy scarring. Everything is going really well,” he said.

But his comment about the intensity of Power training being “unprecedented” was seen by many as a slight criticism of Roos.

“I’m back in full training and just the level we’re training at here is something I’ve never seen,” he said.

Rookie Jason Horne Francis in training. Photo: Naomi JellicoeSource: News Corp Australia

“It’s a competitive environment and that’s something I love. The level of training we’re in is great and I love being on the right track with the boys.

“Coming to a new club and rehab was obviously difficult. I wasn’t able to be around the boys as much as I would have liked, but definitely being back in training now has been great.”

Horn Francis has endured a terrible debut season in the North after becoming the first-ever draftee of the basement draft in 2021.

Clashes with on-court mates and alleged off-field issues, including allegations that he refused a coach’s order to get into an ice bath and was later dropped as a result, Horne invited Francis back home to South Australia citing homesickness.

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New coach Ken Hinckley said he had no doubt Horn Francis would have been more comfortable coming home with his family.

“Pick one in the draft, you left North Melbourne after your freshman year for obvious reasons – I just wanted to go home. He’s a really talented footballer… don’t pick one in the draft if you don’t have all the talent and he has all the talent in the world,” he praised. Hinckley at SEN on Monday.

“It looks really good.

“He’s 19 – that’s the problem (with the scrutiny he’s facing).

“He will be a great player for Port Adelaide. He will be a player who we will look back on for generations and say what a good player he was.

“I think having Jess home really helped him.

“We can all imagine you’re 18 when you go to a new city… you had to go so you went. Being back in his family is really good for him.”

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“Let’s not forget that he grew up with his brother and sister now and has been torn apart from them when they are both very young.

“He really embraces the opportunity to be the player he can be great.

“He needs his preparation at an elite level and he certainly does that for us.”

Horn Francis’ new teammate, Connor Rousey, was full of praise for the new recruit.

“Yeah, he came with quite a bit of baggage. I think the media has gotten into him over the past few months, but he’s been head-down, rambunctious and really hard working,” he said on ABC Radio.

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“I’ve been ripping track for the past two weeks.

He seems to have a bit of a fire in his stomach to really prove some people wrong.

“Looks like it would be a massive choice for us.”

North Melbourne coughed up both Jason Horne Francis (1st draft pick of 2021) and 1st pick of 2022 to secure both Harry Chisel and George Wardlaw inside the top five picks in what eventually became a four-club trade.


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