North coach offers olive branch to Port's Horne-Francis
Port Adelaide midfielder Jason Horne-Francis won't snap the olive branch offered by North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson, Power coach Ken Hinkley says.
And nor will Horne-Francis snap when facing his former Kangaroos teammates on Saturday, Hinkley says.
The on-baller will meet his ex-club for the first time in the Hobart encounter in a fascinating sub-plot to the match between the fifth-placed Power and 17th-placed Roos.
Adelaide-born Horne-Francis was drafted by North with pick one but, after just one season with the Kangaroos last year, walked out to join Port and return to his home city.
While Clarkson wasn't coaching North last year, he has reached out to Horne-Francis in a bid to smooth the troubled waters.
"I texted him three or four weeks ago," Clarkson said.
"And said, 'Mate, just get on with your life, don't think that there's any grudges here – we've moved on, you've moved on, all the best with it, mate'.
"And he responded positively, appreciated the text.
"It was really just an olive branch to say there's no grudges here, you get on with your life and we'll get on with ours."
Port coach Hinkley, who has lost spearhead Charlie Dixon to a thigh injury for Saturday's match, was uncertain if North's players would extend similar courtesy.
"We acknowledge the fact that he's playing against his old team but he has also been very respectful to North Melbourne and what they have done for him," Hinkley said.
"A game against your old team is always a little bit different and a bit awkward at times. But we don't expect too much to be made of it to be honest."
Clarkson likened Horne-Francis walking out of North after one season to Hawthorn great Lance Franklin's departure for Sydney at the end of the 2013 season.
"(Franklin) left Hawthorn not because he hated Hawthorn but just because he wanted a different environment to play his footy," Clarkson said.
"If he's not happy, time to move to another club, and Jase is exactly the same ... he has been playing some pretty good footy for them (Port).
"I'm pleased that he's going well - hopefully he doesn't go so well on Saturday against us."