AFL star Jake Stringer, 26, is told he’s too fat after returning from a serious injury and struggling on the field
- Kane Cornes called out Jake Stringer’s fitness after a big loss to Port Adelaide
- Stringer has struggled for form in his return from an ankle syndesmosis injury
- Cornes claimed his display of fitness wasn’t good enough for professional footy
- Bomber’s coach John Worsfold said he had no issues with Stringer’s body shape
The 26-year-old has struggled to make an impact for the Essendon Bombers in his return from an ankle syndesmosis injury after a great start to the season.
The Bombers copped a 50-point drubbing at the hands of Port Adelaide on Saturday, with Stringer claiming a mere five disposals.
His poor performance was enough for AFL Sunday Footy Show commentator Kane Cornes to rip into Stringer’s physical fitness.
‘I’ll get smashed for this and the PC brigade will come after me,’ Cornes told the program.
Kane Cornes called out Jake Stringer (pictured centre) and his physical fitness after a big loss to Port Adelaide
‘If you’re a full-time professional athlete, you don’t present yourself like that. To steal (Port Adelaide coach) Ken Hinkley’s line, you get what you deserve in footy.
‘That’s why he returns five disposals yesterday, he’s not fit enough. When you don’t perform and present that out of shape, you run the risk of being criticised for it.
‘He needs to look at what Christian Petracca has done and what Max Gawn has done in the past if he wants to get the most out of that talent because that display of physical fitness is not good enough.’
Stringer’s frame has been a subject of conversation for commentators throughout the season.
He was captured in the live broadcast during the Bombers loss to Port Adelaide with his guernsey pulled over his head, sparking Cornes to claim he didn’t do enough work on his fitness over the off season and coronavirus period.
In July Stringer was called ‘big’ by Channel 7 commentators Bruce McAvaney and Brian Taylor after a stellar performance in a win over Collingwood.
Cornes (pictured) claimed Stringer’s display of fitness wasn’t good enough for professional footy
Tom Jonas from Port Adelaide Power competes for a mark with Stringer during the Bomber’s 50-point loss on Saturday night
‘Are we being harsh by saying that? I mean, he’s done everything right, but he does look big doesn’t he?’ McAvaney said in the broadcast.
‘Look, I personally think, Bruce, he needs to train with the group,’ Taylor said.
‘I know other players have done it, but he needs a little bit more coaching than perhaps others. He definitely doesn’t have the six-pack going at the moment.’
Bombers coach John Worsfold responded to questions about Stringer’s fitness after McAvaney and Taylor’s comments.
‘I don’t have an issue with his body shape,’ Worsfold told Footy Classified.
‘We’re all built differently. We’ve got some little fellas running around, we’ve got our big guys. We’ve always celebrated that the game of AFL allows for all sizes and shapes to play a role in our game.
‘Jake has got a role to play within our club and within the team and he’s been performing that role really well for us so far this year.
‘I would like to add that he had an outstanding pre-season. He worked extremely hard and we all got affected through a massive downtime layoff with the COVID strike, but other than that, Jake has worked extremely hard to get himself in best nick to play well for us.’
Stringer and his partner Taylor McVeigh pose at the 2019 Brownlow Medal Ceremony in Melbourne