Jason Akermanis feels Jason Horne-Francis’ trade from North Melbourne to Port Adelaide is one of the most surprising he has ever seen and not a good sign for the club.

After only one season at Arden St, the 2021 No.1 draft pick requested a trade back home to South Australia after a frustrating season at the Kangaroos full of flashpoints, omissions and defeats.

Horne-Francis joined the Power in a four-club mega trade, which saw North Melbourne lose this year’s No.1 draft, but get back picks two and three and a future first.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Sporting News, former Brisbane Lions legend Akermanis was bewildered by the trade and felt it wasn’t a good reflection on what is going on behind the scenes at the Kangaroos.

“He is probably one of the first [high draft pick] we have ever seen, alongside Tom Boyd, to get out of his contract after a year – I don’t even know how he has done it,” Akermanis said.

“It’s very strange. North Melbourne have got a new coach in that period and it looks like good things are happening.

“For him to go [back to South Australia], it’s probably the most surprising trade I have ever seen.

“How bad are North [Melbourne] going that the number one pick and number one player in the draft wants to leave after one year – it’s not a good sign for North.

“It’s as bad a reflection on North as possible as it just never happens.”

When asked if a similar situation had happened at the Lions when he was there, Akermanis explained that it hadn’t because of the strong culture built under Leigh Matthews and Michael Voss.

The closest example was gun midfielder Des Headland, who decided to return home to Western Australia after winning a premiership with the Lions.

“I think it comes down to your club culture – it’s very rare that it would happen,” Akermanis said.

“The only player I can remember it happening to at Brisbane, and it was few years into his career, was Des Headland – No.1 pick in 1999.

“He didn’t leave until the end of 2002 and that was because his wife had enough and said she was taking the kids home to Western Australia.

“I spoke to Dessy a couple of weeks ago at a reunion and he wished he had stayed one more year, he would have won two flags.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *