Hmm, … wow.
That is a disgrace! In what context would they mention his brother?
Great point, aboods. In what professional context is it ever appropriate to ask constant questions of an employees/colleagues family of any level, let alone a brother who had passed away.
Sounds like a bits getting out about the camp ace. You obviously know a fair bit more about it.
Afl offering Williams saints job to keep quiet???
Was brad crouch annoyed about camp too or just injury treatment?
His injury treatment
I only have heard a few bits earlier in the year in regards to the camp and was told that plenty more will come out and that it would shock some people. At the risk of outing this person I can’t say too much more than I have already.
Sounds like a Psychological experimental environment never adequately controlled or challenged or documented.
It just gets better and better. Adelaide tearing themselves apart.
what the hell did i just read?!?! It the above is legit then heads should roll big time. There is pushing players to the limit and then there is just being a c#@t!!
It’s interesting, I draw parallels with the field I work in (substance use) and the amount of private rehab providers there are making all sorts of wild claims, charging tens of thousands of whilst the staff have no relevant qualifications. Bit off topic but same same
The showdown that took place between a posse of senior Adelaide players and their coach Don Pyke and key executives in the AAMI Stadium offices this week has not entirely cleared the air that has festered all year at the club during a wasted and occasionally acrimonious season.
Taylor Walker, Rory Sloane, Tom Lynch, Matt Crouch and Josh Jenkins were among the group who confronted Pyke, football boss Brett Burton and chief executive Andrew Fagan to outline their misgivings with the club’s handling of a series of issues headlined by the disastrous Collective Mind pre-season camp.
What a difference a year makes: it’s been a nightmare season for Don Pyke’s Crows.
As confrontations go, it was robust and punctuated with disappointment.
The players were not after blood but they wanted consequences as a result of the failure of the hierarchy to look after their welfare.
Another football staffer in the gun was development coach Heath Younie, who approved the Mankind Project after personally testing out its methods over several days, at Burton’s request.
It is not known whether the senior players received an apology but what is confirmed is that Pyke and his bosses pleaded with the on-field leaders to maintain the faith and continue to place their trust in the football program. However the disenchantment among the Crows players as they head into an unexpectedly early two-month holiday should not be under-estimated.
Walker was coming off a recent drinking indiscretion that probably symbolised his disastrous season. The poster boy for the Crows’ annus horribilis, Walker was disciplined by the club in a recent incident that was hushed up at the time. The club will only say that the skipper and a few teammates had a few too many over a seven-day break towards the end of the season and that his punishment was either a fine, some extra player appearances or a community service.
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For Walker, it was another issue in a problematic year of largely disappointing form that began with the 2017 grand final and ended with a two-match suspension for rough conduct in round 21 - his second suspension this season. Earlier this week he told Triple M he did not know why another senior teammate Mitch McGovern was breaking his contract to walk out on Adelaide, the sort of departure that has become an annual regularity at the Crows.
All of the above seems an eternity from this time last year when Walker was named by his peers the best captain in the AFL. Back then, Adelaide was top of the ladder and clear premiership favourites heading into a qualifying final which culminated in a six-goal victory - and the unveiling of the Power Ranger stance - over Greater Western Sydney.
Eight Crows players made the 2017 All-Australian squad, three finished in the team and Walker emerged as the best leader in the game, as voted by the AFL Players Association in their MVP awards, with Sloane named most courageous.
How did it all go so horribly wrong? Even allowing for injuries, the curse which struck so many top-eight teams in 2018, and a fitness program that started from behind and turned dysfunctional, this Adelaide side looked the stuff of dynasties.
It seems impossible still to underestimate the psychological blow that struck the club after the 2017 grand final loss to Richmond. Walker admitted he was overawed by the occasion and said he spent the three weeks ‘‘like a little crab’’ barely leaving the house after the loss.
Just as Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin believed his side required a dose of tougher-than-tough love via a brutal pre-season training camp that did not eventuate after the players revolted, the Crows — and specifically football boss Burton and coach Pyke — were convinced that weaknesses needed to be addressed.
They thought their key players’ frailties would be targeted in part by their consultant counsellors — neither medically nor psychologically qualified — Collective Mind at a three-day camp that would take them outside their comfort zone.
The Crows have continued to dig holes for themselves since the damage - both direct and collateral — from the camp was first revealed at the start of April. The practitioners and some of their methods were brought back to the club in May by Pyke in a move that provoked a meeting of senior on-field leaders at Walker’s house and, at the time, eroded some of the players’ faith in their coach.
After the subsequent confrontation, Collective Mind parted ways with the Crows but not without a contractual pay-out. What followed was a clumsy media conference in June in which Burton failed to take responsibility for introducing the consultants and adopted denial mode while both he and Pyke admitted the camp had failed.
The club even now refuses to unconditionally admit the folly of this decision, still insisting some players relished the experience. Some allegations of what took place are weird. Some are horrifying. Officials have repeatedly denied certain bizarre behaviours and rituals took place but refuse to respond to direct questions about others.
They defend the lack of psychological qualifications endowed upon any of the Collective Mind practitioners, saying it was not a psychological camp. This despite the pall the aftermath of the camp cast on some players and their families and the divide it created among teammates on racial grounds.
Eddie Betts’ symbolic move during the season of featuring his children’s names on his hand and stating they were his football motivation was telling.
And the club still refused this week to address questions from Fairfax Media regarding the medical concerns harboured by the club doctor. Not only has departing assistant coach Josh Francou, who reportedly put his concerns regarding the camp in writing to his superiors, remained deeply unimpressed by what took place, but a lengthy report was penned by Adelaide’s chief medical officer Dr Marc Cesana.
Dr Cesana was called to the southern Queensland summer camp on day two after Tom Lynch collapsed. Cesana ruled that Lynch be sent home.
Another player, Kyle Hartigan, who claims he suffered damaging cuts to his knees as a result of what took place and missed games as a result, is in talks with the club regarding his contractual match-trigger clauses.
Adelaide welfare boss Emma Barr, who was singled out by Walker for her outstanding pastoral care following the death of coach Phil Walsh, was also marginalised and kept away from the camp. There seems little doubt the club has failed in its duty of care to its players in this case.
Allegations that Cesana’s report was presented to Burton but took too long to reach chief executive Fagan or the board were met with a '‘no comment’’ this week. The AFL’s investigation team looked into the camp on the basis of media reports but that inquiry, too, appears manifestly inadequate given they were not even aware of a medical report by the club doctor.
Still no attempt has been made by the AFL or the AFL Players Association to obtain the Cesana report, which remains for Crows the so-called smoking gun. In fact, both bodies have been strangely inert given the distress some players suffered and the discomfort held by some coaches and other officials over what took place. Both have excused their lack of action by saying no official complaints were lodged — an extraordinary fallback given the game’s recent history where player welfare is concerned. The AFLPA considers the issue is finished although the AFL has indicated a willingness this week to further investigate the cultish camp should evidence emerge.
Francou and his fellow assistant Tate Kaesler have voted with their feet and quit. Kaesler will move to the Gold Coast to work under Stuart Dew and Francou is expected to follow despite having served just one year of a three-year contract. Should the club refuse to release him to another club Francou has said he will return to school teaching.
Another assistant, Matt Clarke — who will remain ruck coach but who has been moved to oversee the women’s program — reportedly raised concerns regarding the failure of the club to run the Mankind Project past its own integrity committee.
The discomfort among the players and some staff and the fall-out from 2018 intensified with the departure this week of medical services co-ordinator Rohan Hattotuwa, who will be replaced in a fashion by former Kangaroos fitness guru Steve Saunders and his KangaTech. Saunders will join the club in a non-traditional, full-time role with the proviso he can continue to consult to other AFL clubs — notably North Melbourne, whose CEO Carl Dilena is a KangaTech shareholder, and Melbourne — along with other Australian and international sporting codes that have adopted his program, which has revolutionised the measurement and predictive strength and frailty of players’ hamstrings.
Given the misgivings held by the club’s high performance boss Matt Hass over some elements of the program this year — KangaTech’s defenders insist it requires Saunders’ direct management — the dynamics in the fitness department remain unpredictable.
The Crows players held their Mad Monday at the Weymouth Arms in inner-city Adelaide, which coincided with the somewhat bizarre and mutually destructive move by the Collective Mind bosses to defend their practices at a heavily publicised and strategic media conference at the MCG. The players’ reaction to some of the comments ranged from disbelief to anger.
‘‘We delivered on the brief,’’ claimed Derek Leddie, Collective Mind’s co-owner. Watching that performance only further underlined the Crows’ imprudence in entrusting their precious cargo to the consultants the club still claims did great work in 2017. And demonstrated how even highly professional organisations such as the Crows – who handled the horrific murder of their former coach Walsh and its aftermath with such professional clarity, precision and empathy – can lose their way when the wrong people are handed the keys.
Adelaide coach Don Pyke says he’s willing to keep want-away forward Mitch McGovern against his wishes if an adequate trade offer isn’t received.
McGovern has told Pyke he wants to leave the Crows after serving just one season of a three-year contract.
“We will try to get the best we can for Mitch and if we can’t get a good enough deal, then he will remain an Adelaide player next year,” Pyke told Triple M radio on Friday.
Pyke refused to go into McGovern’s specific reasons for seeking a trade.
“When Mitch came and saw me earlier in the week, from where he’s coming from, the decision he has made where he feels it’s not the best place for him to play his footy,” he said.
"There’s a number of reasons and factors, and I won’t go into detail, that I spoke to about with Mitch. Some of those are historical, some of those are environmental.
“That’s it, it’s his personal view … and clearly if we can’t get a deal done we’ll have to work through some of those issues to make sure he’s able to perform the way we know he’s capable of.”
What an absolute shambles. You’d have to question whether burton pyke and anybody else who was championing the collective munds stuff once player concerns were raised will be there next season based on some of the stuff coming out
Agree. The more that comes out, the worse it looks for the club, and some heads will roll. Burton and Pyke look the most likely as they were the ones who pushed and continue to advocate what was a total disaster.
Their mad Monday’s must be amazing, if a little loose and eye opening but it doesn’t stop there, the preseason is where things really ramp up and ■■■■ gets real. Mate, it’s Crows culture.
Obviously because they capitulated in the GF they’ve decided needed to try and make them mentally tougher. But done so in a terrible way.
There is building resilience and then there is bullying.
You’d think Pyke would have lost most of playing group as a result. Tex also not backing the players and siding with coach / football dept