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A note from the CEO: June 19

Hi everyone,
 
As I have done in the past, I write to you at the midpoint of the season with some thoughts and reflections on our year to date.
                                                 
Twelve months ago this was a very positive analysis, but proving the adage that a week is a long time in footy, right now we find ourselves in a testing period at 6-7 and needing a quick reversal of form to remain in the finals race. It is not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last, for our Club or others. That is the nature of high performance sport but it is not a position we in any way accept
 
The season has not been without highlights – some very good wins and some heartbreaking losses – but, just like you, we have been frustrated and disappointed with some of our defeats, particularly the last four weeks which culminated in an uncharacteristic and underwhelming performance against Hawthorn on Saturday night at the MCG.
 
It is reasonable for fans and media to speculate as to why this has happened, with many wanting to pinpoint a specific factor or issue. Some have looked to a post-Grand Final letdown, others to our significant injury toll and some to the effectiveness of pre-season camps. Along the way, there have been more than a few other extravagant theories.
 
However, in high performance programs it is never a single thing that drives outstanding performance and similarly it is not a single fix to address underperformance. Football programs and people present a far more complex scenario. I trust you understand that it is not practical or sensible to respond to each and every one of the theories, nor is it easy to provide a simple response to the numerous activities occurring in complex environments. However, I want to assure you that everyone at the Club – coaches, players, staff and administrators – are all clearly focused on finding the continuity and consistency that will get us back to playing the football of which we know we are capable and that has delivered strong performances over the past few seasons. Recent years have highlighted that one of the strengths of everyone associated with our Club is resilience and determination to overcome adversity and succeed. We are competitive, but not immune to pressure and certainly recognise the tough position we find ourselves in. I am proud of and back our players and people.
 
The AFL is one of the most competitive and demanding environments in professional sport. The competition is fierce, challenges are ever-present, equalisation works, pressure is immense and media coverage intense. But equally it is that environment which drives the people associated with our Club to come to work each day with a steely determination to improve, develop and deliver against our significant expectations and those of our passionate and invested members and fans. If hard work is one of the keys to success, then we are definitely well positioned to work our way through this. 
 
At this time of year it is standard practice for our Club’s key staff to review their respective areas of operation with a view to finding opportunities for further growth and improvement. This year the review process clearly has a greater emphasis. When the players and coaches return from a few days away from the Club, they will share their learnings and recommendations and finalise the program for the back half of the season. This is an important process that we hope will enable us to launch into the remainder of the season with renewed energy and focus.
 
In other football news, I would like to congratulate Richard Douglas on putting pen to paper and signing a new one-year contract last week which will keep him at the Club for a 14th season. Hard at it and no nonsense, Dougy typifies the team-first approach we value so greatly at our Club. He is a professional on the field and a true character and pure class off it.
 
I know these times are tough for all. We share a great love for this Club and its teams. As always your support is appreciated and acknowledged, not just by those tied to the Club but by those across the Australian sporting landscape who recognise, admire and often remark on the scale, passion and loyalty of the Crows fan base.  Our commitment and determination to deliver the success that you crave will never waiver and everyone at our Club, particularly the coaches and players, are up for the immediate challenges that lie ahead.
 
Thanks for your support. We Fly As One!
 
Regards, 
Andrew