K got an 'F' for AFL debut: McKenna - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

K got an 'F' for AFL debut: McKenna

Laine Clark 03/04/2011 12:29:22 PM Comments (0)

The report card came out soon after Karmichael Hunt's AFL debut - "K" got an "F".

All eyes were on Hunt as the code hopper made a little history - along with the Gold Coast Suns - at the Gabba on Saturday night.

And Suns coach Guy McKenna reluctantly stated the obvious after the Suns' disastrous 119-point loss to Carlton.

"We have a very simple formula after the game, whether they are satisfactory or unsatisfactory," McKenna said.

"I thought maybe (Hunt was satisfactory), but it (was decided)... it went against him - he wasn't satisfactory.

"But there a lot of senior players who weren't satisfactory.

"But in the moment when he was there he looked okay - he certainly wasn't our worst player, that's for sure."

Outsized in defence, Hunt also looked lost as he tried to adjust to the pace of the game.

But as McKenna said, Hunt was "no orphan".

In a team boasting 12 debutants, only ex-Brisbane Lions midfielder Michael Rischitelli and former Kangaroo Dan Harris - in his 150th game - could have left a shellshocked Gabba with their head held high.

Young forward Charlie Dixon - who kicked the Suns' first goal - showed promise as did Harley Bennell (17 possessions, one goal), No.1 draft pick David Swallow (17 touches) and Brandon Matera (14 touches, one goal).

Even superstar Gary Ablett looked like a mere mortal after failing to play a pre-season game due to injury, but still collected 23 touches.

"I probably expected better but you've got to weigh that up," McKenna said of the Suns debut.

"Even the leaders got swarmed at times largely due to Carlton's pressure.

"For Gary, Bocky (Nathan Bock) and even Campbell Brown, they are going to have kids spinning their wheels alongside them.

"For them to be expected to play like Gaz at Geelong, Bocky at Adelaide, they just don't have that consistency around them.

"So we can't expect them to be superstars for us from day one.

"Let's not expect too much from not only our young kids but our leaders as well."

At least Ablett will never forget his first game as captain.

"It was hard at the start, I wasn't quite up to the pace," Ablett said.

"I went out there and said a few things to the boys at the start of the game, but you are not going to be a successful side unless you have 22 leaders out there.

"We had so many playing their first game and they are definitely going to get a lot out of that.

"We will sit down and review the game and go through some areas we need to fix up - there's definitely plenty of them - but the more games these guys play the better."

Still McKenna could find some positives.

"It looked bad on the scoreboard, but throughout the course of the game there was some exciting parts where the boys were able to play our style of football and it looked good," he said.

"And we know over time it is going to get better and better and better."

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