Some thoughts on the week past


It has not been a great week in the world of AFL football.

There have been some sad incidents off the playing field.

Firstly, the cancer scare to Hawthorn premiership player Jarryd Roughead’s diagnosis with a melanoma that was removed from his lip late last week.

His immediate playing future is now clouded and with the nature of this type of cancer — treatment is a priority.

Getting a clean bill of health for ‘Roughy’ is first and foremost, ahead of even contemplating in playing for the mighty fighting Hawks.

Then on Friday morning, as we all have heard, was Adelaide Crows’ coach Phil Walsh’s tragic passing in the most of unbelievable of circumstances.

A tough uncompromising and resilient leader of young men, Walsh had his Adelaide Crows building after two lean years.

That was what Adelaide needed and what their supporters wanted and the players started to deliver.

A tough, ruthless tactician who helped mastermind Port Adelaide’s breakthrough premiership in 2004, one sensed Walsh would lead the Crows toward the brink of a third AFL premiership trophy, perhaps not this year, but in the following years.

It’s hard to fathom Walsh’s passing and indeed football takes a back seat in these most tragic of circumstances.

The biggest challenge is for Walsh’s current group of young men and those who previously learned under his guidance at Geelong, West Coast and Port, as to how they will cope as people after losing a talisman who focused on a work ethic like no other.

Undoubtedly what Walsh wants is the young men at the Adelaide Football Club, who have been under his wing during his short tenure at West Lakes, to flourish as people and secondly as elite athletes.

The past few days have shown all of us to keep things in perspective and not take things for granted.

Sport is irrelevant in time of mourning and recovery, but it is something these athletes live for because it helps to develop them as people as well.

That’s what Phil Walsh would have wanted for his beloved Crows.


  1. John Pini says

    I think that two of the truly great coaches that I have met and listened to, Wayne Bennett and David Parkin, understood their role well and it seems from your comments so too did Phil Walsh.
    For me there seems to be an obsession by too many people that football (maybe even sport generally) is for many elite athletes their whole life. The best coaches – the likes of Parkin, Bennett and maybe Walsh, understand differently that football (sport?) can make your life whole by playing a key part in your life and helping you learn lessons for your life beyond sport.
    If the Crows have learnt that from Phil Walsh in his short time with them, then it will have been time well spent and his legacy ensured.

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