After releasing some emotion on Saturday night, Adelaide captain Taylor Walker says his side will re-focus on its goal of continuing Phil Walsh’s journey and playing finals football.
The Crows players and coaches were visibly upset and drained following their first game since Walsh’s tragic passing against West Coast in Perth on Saturday night. Walker said the match was beneficial in the grieving process, but that the Club had to put the raw emotion aside.
“Obviously, on the weekend it was a bit of a tough one for the group,” Walker said.
“We didn’t play against Geelong (in Round 14), so we had two weeks of sort of sitting around thinking about the memories that he (Walsh) left with us – we’ll probably do that for a long time. But to play footy, it’s a bit of an out for the boys and (we) let a bit of steam off, so it was great to get back out there.
“It was a different sort of a game, especially after the game you saw the emotions that were flowing, but for us it’s probably about (putting) the emotions aside now and playing the footy that we want to play.”
Adelaide’s next assignment is against Port Adelaide in Showdown XXXIX on Sunday.
The two clubs have vowed to put the bitter rivalry aside out of respect for Walsh, and the grief both of the South Australian camps are experiencing. However, Walker said it was imperative the Crows played hard and to win.
“That’s what we play footy for, it’s to win. Walshy would want that,” Walker said.
“We’ll continue to play Crows footy and keep enjoying the game. For us, it’s a big game in terms of where we’re at on the ladder. We want to play some finals footy, but we’ve got to earn that trust and respect to play finals footy.
“We’ll continue that journey that ‘Walshy’ started. You probably heard him harp on about tackles and ground balls a lot, so we’ll continue to keep that as a focus. But training hard with elite standards and putting our team first – they’re the things we’ll continue to hold accountable for each other.
“We know exactly what he wanted, so for now it’s up to us to continue that. As Travis (Boak) said, it’s going to be a competitive game, a contested-style game, and we’re looking forward to playing the boys on the weekend."
Walker praised the support networks both inside and outside of the Adelaide Football Club.
“It was a tough week for the footy club, and for Port as well,” he said.
“… For me it’s about looking after all the other guys. We’ve had great support around the footy club and we’ll continue to have great support … it’s a pretty impressive footy club.
“It (the support) has been amazing from the football world. I probably don’t have time to thank everyone, but it’s been very touching.
“We’ve been lucky enough to have that support and we’re very thankful.”