Paul Roos savaged by fellow AFL great over 'really stupid' claim about North Melbourne

Roos claimed the player depth in the 1980s was stronger than what it is today.

AFL great Paul Roos has been slammed for his "stupid comment" about North Melbourne after taking another swipe at the team sitting bottom of the AFL ladder. Roos, who previously labelled the Kangaroos' winless start to the season "pathetic", doubled down on his criticism of the AFL strugglers stating the player depth in the 1980s when he played was much stronger across a 12-team competition - which wasn’t national - than it is today.

In a radio interview on Thursday the former Sydney and Melbourne coach, who spent three years in a consultancy role at North Melbourne before Clarkson took over, incredibly claimed Carlton's reserves team in the early 80s would comfortably beat the starting Kangaroos side. “I remember (my debut). We actually got belted, I played full-forward. I kicked a couple of goals late and I got dropped the next week. So, I thought my career was not going to go 356 games, but one game,” he told SEN.

Pictured left Paul Roos and right Kangaroos
AFL great Paul Roos has been hammered for his 'stupid comment" about struggling North Melbourne. Image: Getty

“But without sounding (like old timers), well I suppose we can sound like them because that’s what we’re here for, there was certainly a lot more depth. We only had 12 teams and our seconds teams ... I say this, Carlton’s seconds team in the early ‘80s would beat North Melbourne right now, there’s no question about that.”

Having recorded just a single win in 2024, and only 13 wins in 85 games since the start of the 2020 season, the Kangaroos' woes cannot be understated but Roos' continual bashing of the club has seen North Melbourne champion Corey McKernan take a swipe at him.

“Oh really? That’s interesting given that Roosy took the cash from North Melbourne and was part of it - it’s a really stupid comment from Roosy, not a bad gig by the way working remotely from Hawaii,” McKernan wrote on X. He also added: "Very silly to say when you were a part of what happened.”

Having remained in the bottom two since the start of 2020, North have been as competitive in the last month as they have been in recent memory. They recorded their first win of the season against West Coast in round 13, before narrow defeats to finals contenders Collingwood, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.

And Kangaroos coach Alastair Clarkson believes the side's recent performances show there’s “some excitement” brewing at the club as he laughed off Roos' remarks. "Everyone’s got their opinion,” Clarkson said.


"You’re an easy target when you’re sitting on the ladder where we are so you just roll with the punches. All of us have been part of (struggling) sides ... whether we’ve coached them or whether we’ve played in them. I thought ‘Roosy’ might have been one of those too, but obviously not.

“The last four weeks have shown our supporters and the wider football football public that there’s some excitement here. You don’t have to go back too long ago where Carlton were and where the Melbourne footy club were ... ironically enough ‘Roosy’ was at the Melbourne footy club when that was happening.”

with AAP