Fremantle Docker Jordan Clark slaughtered by former AFL umpire

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A controversial former AFL umpire has launched a blistering attack on young Fremantle star Jordan Clark following his key role in the Dockers’ dramatic loss to Carlton on Saturday.

Trailing by two points with 90 seconds on the clock, Carlton benefited from two late umpiring calls in its 10.13 (73) to 9.9 (63) comeback victory, the club’s first at Adelaide Oval.

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The AFL has conceded the umpires missed James Aish’s touch of George Hewett’s kick before it was marked by Matthew Cottrell, whose set shot put the Blues in front.

The Blues were then immediately awarded another free kick after 23-year-old Clark was hit with a dissent charge over his conduct disputing the Cottrell mark.

Speaking on Channel 9 on Sunday, AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon said “given the time of day and we’re on TV, I can’t repeat what was said, but the dissent was there”.

Watching the incident on replay, AFL great Nathan Buckley felt it was clear Clark had been the guilty party, in a moment that robbed the Dockers of any chance of winning the game.

“It looks like Jordan Clark, the umpire is pointing at Jordan Clark,” Buckley said.

“It must’ve been a bit of a drive-by. He’s running past the umpire and given him a few choice words and that’s what he’s picked up on.”

Former umpire Pell, who is no stranger to controversy himself, clearly has strong feelings towards Clark from his time in the umpiring department.

Pell was arrested on November 14, 2022 on suspicions of supplying sensitive information on Brownlow Medal votes and sacked after one season as a senior umpire.

He has not been charged with any offence.

Clark’s incident against the Blues prompted Pell to come out swinging on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The irony in all this is that I warned Jordan Clark in a Covid 14v14 nothing game when he was a spoilt brat and carrying on that he needed to stop abusing umpires,” Pell wrote in a retweet of a video of the incident on the field.

“Guess he still hasn’t learnt. Stinky attitude and any wonder Geelong were happy to see the back of him.”

Most of the comments on the tweet posted by Pell, who was also headbutted by a player umpiring in the Essendon District Football League in June last year, suggest he should be the last person throwing stones.

But he clearly had issues with the defender during his time with the whistle in the AFL ranks.

Clark was drafted by the Cats in 2018 and played 32 games over three seasons before being traded to Fremantle.

Matthew Kennedy was awarded the shot from directly in front after Clark’s dissent and kicked the goal as Carlton claimed its first win from eight attempts at the ground.

“We’ve been so complimentary of Freo, the discipline, the pressure and everything they brought,” Jason Dunstall said in commentary.

“But they lost their cool. They lost their cool when they thought the ball was touched off the boot and the umpire didn’t pay it.

“The one thing you’ve got to do is keep your cool.

“They lost it. They would’ve had a minute to try to get a centre clearance and try to go forward.

“But obviously they were too vociferous with their protests over the ball being touched before Cottrell marked it.”

In his press conference after the game, Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir said Clark should have ignored the initial umpiring decision and played on.

“We should have just got on with it. If they weren’t happy with the call there isn’t much you can do,” he said.

“The players clearly thought they touched the footy but that is a really hard call for umpires to make without going to the replay.

“We just need to move on because the umpire is never going to backtrack. Control what we can control in those moments and give ourselves a chance to reset.”