Image: Melbourne Football Club Twitter (Quinn Rooney/AFL Photos)

Footy Classified’s Craig Hutchinson has questioned new Melbourne captain Max Gawn’s bold hairstyle change after he emerged from the COVID-19 break with a blonde mohawk.

Contrary to his normal beliefs of self expression, Hutchinson wasn’t a fan of the star ruckman’s striking hairdo given the Demons finished last season in the bottom two.

“I ask this in a sense of fairness because I’m big on the promotion and expressing yourself in footy, but I do think the question needs to be asked,” he said on Channel 9’s Footy Classified.

“Max Gawn, he’s a great character, we love him, he is brilliant for our game. He turned up at training looking like this and I just want to ask you as a great captain and leader, do you need to think about how you look and present yourself differently as captain or is this something that his players would rally around and be behind?

“I’m probably a little inconsistent to my general beliefs in life, I just think when you are 17th on the ladder and first time captain and you’re trying to grow into new considered shoes, whether it’s necessary to do.

“I don’t have a wild problem with it. I think the optics are important.”

However, fellow Footy Classified panellist and Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd says Gawn has earned the right to appear however he likes.

“I was big on those sorts of things when you haven’t got the respect,” he contested.

“When you have won the last two best and fairests and you are as harder trainer as Max Gawn is, he beats the midfielders around that oval due to what he has become as a trainer.

“To me, whether his hair was purple blue or white as it is, I think he has earned the right to do what he needs to do because he turns up better than any of player at Melbourne and performs.”

Lloyd has spoken out previously on his disregard for the man-bun look, but has always stated that it doesn’t matter if the player performs.

“In the past I use to scoff at players with man buns. But if they turn up and perform each week, you let them do what they want,” he said.

“If Connor Rozee turned up with that haircut, I’d go ‘you know what Connor, you haven’t earned the right to do that’ but I think Max Gawn has earned the right to do what he wants to do.”

Speaking on RSN Breakfast on Tuesday, Gawn said no though had been given to the Footy Classified panel discussing his hair style.

“I’d say there’d be two things a captain has to worry about – getting his team up to perform and selling his team to his members. I don’t have to worry about Classified,”Gawn said.