Swans coach John Longmire calls out ‘unusual’ Clarkson meeting

Sydney coach John Longmire has issued a pert retort to Alastair Clarkson, labelling the Hawthorn coach’s meeting with AFL boss Gillon McLachlan “unusual and unnecessary”.

A war of words has erupted between the former North Melbourne teammates in the days since Clarkson’s post-match “blue murder” remarks on Friday night.

The Hawks boss was frustrated at perceived injustices in the way off-the-ball blocking free kicks in his team’s attacking 50 were paid in the eight-point loss to Sydney.

While saying the Swans were “very sophisticated with the way that they defend” he also declared they got away with “blue murder” at times.

Longmire offered a cheeky response on Monday, claiming Hawthorn “do exactly the same thing” while also confirming a report Clarkson met with AFL chief executive McLachlan on Monday morning to follow up his concerns.

“After the game it can be a bit difficult, but to follow it up on Saturday, and again this morning he caught up with Gill for breakfast to go through some vision (which) is a bit unusual,” Longmire said.

“I’m not sure whether it was under the guise of the charter of the game or what it was, but unusual and unnecessary I’d suggest.

“We’ve had a couple of exchanges and we’ll probably agree to disagree on this one.

“In the end we’ve all got passionate thoughts on the game and there’s a time and a place to have those discussions.

“When we’re in the heat of the season, and particularly after a loss, I just don’t think it’s appropriate to put it on the agenda the way he did and they keep following it up – it’s unnecessary and unwarranted.”

Longmire voiced surprise Clarkson had discussed the issue with McLachlan, “particularly when you have a look at what Hawthorn do”.

“I spoke to Gill and asked what it was about but it’s got nothing to do with Gill, Gill didn’t know what the chat was about,” he said.

“If any coach is going to speak to the CEO I think it’s fantastic the CEO’s door is open … but I just think maybe the topics and how they were looked upon… it’s probably not the time or place to do it.”

Clarkson, while conceding on Friday the Hawks were well-beaten in several key aspects of the game, took issue with the Swans’ apparent blocking tactics.

“It was a strange comment from Alistair, considering the previous three times when they beat us by a kick nothing was said,” Longmire said.

“Just look at what Hawthorn do, they do exactly the same thing … Hawthorn are very very good at it.”

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