MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 05: Jordan Clark of the Cats celebrates kicking a goal during the round 3 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 05, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Fremantle have hit back at comments made by Geelong chief executive Steve Hocking on Dockers recruit and now ex-Cat Jordan Clark.

Clark, 21, ventured back to his home state of Western Australia after requesting a move away from the Cattery with a year left on his contract.

Geelong and Fremantle were able to come to an agreement on the final day of the trade period, with Geelong receiving Pick 22 and a future third-round selection from the Dockers, while also sending a future fourth-round pick of their own along with Clark.

The speedy utility was limited to just the 11 appearances this season, four of which came as a medical sub.

Hocking, who has recently arrived at Kardinia Park as the club's new boss, stated that Clark had perhaps failed to reach expectations in his required workload during his time with the Cats.

“For our younger players, you have to do the work,” Hocking said on 3AW this week.

“If you do get an opportunity, you need to grab it with both hands and push past some of those experienced players.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Jordan Clark of the Cats in action during the 2019 AFL round 18 match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 21, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“That’s the comment I would make around Jordan Clark.”

Now, Hocking's Fremantle counterpart Simon Garlick has come to the defence of the Dockers' newest face, lambasting the Geelong CEO's remarks in regards to Clark's efforts.

Speaking to The West AustralianGarlick expressed his disappointment in Hocking's comments while placing his support behind Clark's "character".

“He is a person of high character, very high talent and just starting out his career,”

“We don’t feel it is appropriate for senior figures at opposition clubs to publicly criticise players that are not on their list.”

The Cats' list demographic has been criticised in recent years as they rank as the oldest list in the AFL and continue to see young talent depart.

The Cats also bid farewell to tall Nathan Kreuger, who joined the Magpies after just two games with Geelong.