Part two of our review at the most read articles on afc.com.au, this time from July through to December …
The devastating news of the death of our senior coach Phil Walsh broke on July 3. It was the saddest and most shocking day in our Club’s history. The following day Crows captain Taylor Walker described the “numb” feeling amongst the players and vowed the Club would stick together to overcome the tragedy.
Adelaide’s game against Geelong, scheduled for July 5, was cancelled and then the Club announced it had appointed Scott Camporeale as interim Senior Coach for the remainder of the season and also hired former West Coast coach John Worsfold as Coaching Director
On July 19, Adelaide won its first game since Walsh’s passing, surviving an epic Port Adelaide fightback to win Showdown XXXIX by three points at Adelaide Oval.
An Essendon fan learned the hard way not to bet against Eddie, even if he is taking a shot from deep in the forward pocket. After Betts slotted the goal – his 100th for the Crows – he turned to the crowd and shrugged his shoulders.
Also in August, Eddie’s surprise wedding to long-time partner Anna Scullie also spread quickly through our social media channels.
Back in the finals
Adelaide returned to the finals for the first time since 2012. And one of the stars of the thrilling win over the Western Bulldogs at the MCG was first-year player Riley Knight
Crows fans couldn’t stop watching replays of the final minutes, including the Play of the Year completed by a Charlie Cameron goal.
After losing to Hawthorn in the semi-final, there was more bad news with Patrick Dangerfield confirming that he wanted to exercise his rights under the AFL’s free agency rules to return home to Victoria. In the same week Dangerfield won his first Malcolm Blight Medal as Crows Club Champion. Dangerfield, who was the only player to poll in every game, finished 26 votes clear of runner-up Rory Laird, while Eddie Betts claimed third place ahead of ruckman Sam Jacobs in fourth spot.
On October 9, Adelaide announced the appointment of Don Pyke as Adelaide’s new Senior Coach. Pyke, a two-time premiership player, had worked at West Coast as an assistant coach and in 2005-06 had been an assistant coach with the Crows under Neil Craig. A four-hour interview in Brisbane just days after Pyke had been in the coaching box with the Eagles for the grand final sealed the deal.
After days of negotiations, Adelaide and Geelong completed a deal for Patrick Dangerfield on the first day of the official trade period. The Crows secured picks 9 and 28 plus former Sturt junior Dean Gore, a former Crows fan who spent one season at Geelong.
The early deal allowed the Crows to trade for three other players – Curtly Hampton (GWS), Paul Seedsman (Collingwood) and Troy Menzel (Carlton).
Crows fans started planning for 2016 when the AFL released the schedule at the end of October. For the first time, Adelaide will play their opening home game of a season against their South Australian rivals.
Adelaide’s first season under new coach Don Pyke begins against Preliminary Finalists North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, on March 26.
Adelaide entered the AFL national draft with picks 9 and 13 and used the first selection on exciting Central District junior Wayne Milera much to the approval of the fans at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
Next on Adelaide’s list was Geelong junior Tom Doedee and fans were keen to find out more about the competitive defender
Finding out the numbers of new Crows is always popular with the fans. And recruit Dean Gore was excited to move into the No 36 locker, the number worn by two-time premiership player Simon Goodwin.
In early December, Adelaide revealed that for the first time since 2005, Adelaide’s home guernsey had returned to the original hoops design from 1991, the Club’s first season. And the two new clash guernsey options – voted for by the fans in an online survey – also featured the top three red, gold and blue stripes on white and gold bases.