Code-hopper Hunt laughs off criticism - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Code-hopper Hunt laughs off criticism

Laine Clark 31/03/2011 07:49:00 PM Comments (0)

Code-hopper Karmichael Hunt has laughed off criticism from AFL great Wayne Carey.

And Gold Coast Suns coach Guy McKenna is tipping Hunt will have the last laugh on all of his knockers on Saturday night.

Carey was scathing of Hunt's selection for the Gold Coast's historic AFL debut against Carlton at the Gabba, saying he did not deserve it and could even cause a player rift.

But McKenna defended his trailblazer on Thursday before unveiling his inaugural squad, claiming no other Gold Coast defender could say they deserved selection ahead of Hunt.

And in another crack at Carey, McKenna said he was not one for "gimmicks" and could not risk using an unworthy player in such a big game.

No wonder Hunt said he would be hanging off the last words of McKenna - not Carey - before he runs out against the Blues.

"I watched the (Carey) clip after someone posted it on Twitter and I found it quite funny so I re-Twittered it," Hunt said.

"I think about 400 people wrote back having a laugh about it as well.

"I am not out to prove anyone wrong.

"My coach says I deserve to be here and that is all that matters to me.

"And Bluey (McKenna) has always got something up his sleeve so if I need some (pre-match) advice I will definitely go to him."

McKenna spoke with pride about Hunt's AFL development.

"I don't think there is another defender in the squad that would say I would deserve to play in front of K (Hunt)," he said.

"He's earned this, he deserves the right, and the boys will walk taller with K out there."

McKenna said he was not surprised by Carey's comments - but believed Hunt may surprise many on Saturday night.

"People have always made those comments about K (like Carey)," he said.

"But we have seen his development, we have seen him deserve his opportunity in the side.

"When I took on the job and took him on I didn't have any runs on the board (with Hunt).

"And I wasn't a coach for gimmicks.

"I had to make sure he could play.

"I couldn't take a punt like Mick Malthouse, or Bomber (Mark) Thompson or Kevin Sheedy could.

"I had to make sure we were a better than even chance of this working.

"And he gives this team a level of assurity."

Hunt expects to feel some nerves on Saturday night but hopes his big match experience in rugby league and union would help.

"It is definitely going to do me good, having been in some big games in the past I know how to deal with it," he said.

"And the younger boys here are pretty excited rather than nervous.

"They have done the hard work - they just want to go out and play."

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