Sport Crows have unique AFL bond: coach Pyke

02:45  08 september  2017
02:45  08 september  2017 Source:   msn.com

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The death of Phil Walsh has given AFL flag favourites Adelaide a unique bond , Crows coach Don Pyke says. The Crows flew into a home preliminary final with a 36-point drubbing of Greater Western Sydney in Thursday night's qualifying final.

THE AFL ’s Friday night fixtures have again come under fire for failing to showcase the best of what the league has to offer. The loss was the heaviest in Pyke ’s two-and-a-half year tenure as Crows coach .

Crows players react after scoring a goal during the AFL qualifying final match between the Adelaide Crows and GWS Giants© AAP Image/David Mariuz Crows players react after scoring a goal during the AFL qualifying final match between the Adelaide Crows and GWS Giants The death of Phil Walsh has given AFL flag favourites Adelaide a unique bond, Crows coach Don Pyke says.

The Crows flew into a home preliminary final with a 36-point drubbing of Greater Western Sydney in Thursday night's qualifying final.

Pyke is in his second season as Adelaide coach, appointed after the killing of Walsh, who was stabbed to death by son Cy in July 2015.

Cy Walsh was found not guilty by reason of mental incompetence of murdering his father, who was in his first season as Adelaide coach.

Adelaide star Rory Sloane out of AFL final

  Adelaide star Rory Sloane out of AFL final Adelaide midfielder Rory Sloane and Greater Western Sydney forward Devon Smith won't play in Thursday night's AFL qualifying final because of injury. GWS goalsneak Smith has been ruled out by a knee injury, while enigmatic veteran Stevie Johnson has been dropped.Crows star Sloane, after undergoing appendix surgery on Tuesday last week, says the risk of further injury is too high to play the Adelaide Oval final.Sloane's injury-forced withdrawal is among three changes to Adelaide's side from the last home-and-away match.

Pyke starts his first AFL senior coaching job by returning to the Crows where he was assistant coach to Neil Craig in 2005-6. He has a three-year starting contract. “This is a unique group — in a really good position,” said Pyke , describing himself as “excited and energised” by his first senior coaching

Adelaide Crows AFL coach Don Pyke has agreed to a three-year contract extension. Pyke , who will coach his 50th AFL game in round one of the new season, will be in charge at West Lakes until the end of the 2021 season.

"Our group has been through something really unique," Pyke said after Adelaide's 12.12 (84) to 6.12 (48) thrashing of GWS.

"Obviously the passing of the previous coach in Phil Walsh has challenged them. It's an unprecedented event and these guys have gone through that.

"And often loss is an opportunity for growth.

Adelaide star Rory Sloane out of AFL final

  Adelaide star Rory Sloane out of AFL final Adelaide midfielder Rory Sloane and Greater Western Sydney forward Devon Smith won't play in Thursday night's AFL qualifying final because of injury. GWS goalsneak Smith has been ruled out by a knee injury, while enigmatic veteran Stevie Johnson has been dropped.Crows star Sloane, after undergoing appendix surgery on Tuesday last week, says the risk of further injury is too high to play the Adelaide Oval final.Sloane's injury-forced withdrawal is among three changes to Adelaide's side from the last home-and-away match.

Adelaide coach Don Pyke says it was a difficult decision to axe two club stalwarts for Saturday night's AFL away game against Brisbane. Pyke said the changes would freshen up his Crows , who still hold top spot despite consecutive losses weighing on the club's collective mind.

Adelaide coach Don Pyke is blaming sloppy skills, not complacency or the bye. Pyke says poor skills cruelled the Crows in their shock 14-point AFL loss to Hawthorn on Thursday night.

"So they have got something unique as a group and that is good to be able to work with that because the guys now have a sense of each other."

Pyke said his players' "genuine care" for each other was evidenced in their reaction to stalwarts Sam Jacobs and Brodie Smith on Thursday night.

Smith is expected to require a knee reconstruction and be denied a shot at a premiership after being hurt just over 10 minutes into the match.

Jacobs fronted despite still grieving the death of his 31-year-old brother last week from an undisclosed illness.

"It's never easy when a player is dealing with a tragedy in his family," Pyke said of Jacobs.

"It was always going to be difficult, to be honest, for Sam. And that is a credit to him that he is able to come in and perform the way he did under those circumstances.

"His commitment to being a professional player and also his commitment to the team, that he didn't want to let them down.

"You could see that afterwards each player and coaching staff were super-proud of Sam and what he was able to do, but at the same time sad for Sam as well.

"He has lost his brother and the result, as happy as we all are, we're still sad in our hearts for Sam."

Cats to test Stewart ahead of AFL final .
Geelong reported more good news on Sunday, with young defender Tom Stewart cleared of serious injury.Stewart was forced out of their semi-final win over Sydney in the third quarter because of hamstring tightness.

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