AFL 3 years ago

Campo's Crows do it the Walsh way

  • Campo's Crows do it the Walsh way

Scott Camporeale knows others will write the script: grieving players on a quest to honour their slain coach.

Camporeale has been the Crows' caretaker in many ways since Phil Walsh was killed on July 3.

But while they're now Campo's Crows, they're still doing it the Walsh way.

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"Walshy put in philosophies and a game plan that Campo has had to just come in and continue that on," captain Taylor Walker says.

Next Tuesday, three days after Adelaide's first final in three AFL seasons, the killing of Walsh will resurface: his son Cy, charged with murdering his Dad, is due in court.

Walsh's death will define Adelaide's season, and perhaps the club itself.

Camporeale marvels at how the players have been galvanised, led by Walker, who Walsh elected captain ahead of Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane.

Walker himself acknowledges the ongoing journey since Walsh's death.

"You can reflect on it as you go. But we have got a lot of unfinished business," he says.

Under first-year head coach Walsh, the Crows won seven and lost five games. Under Camporeale, they are six and three.

Walker and Camporeale continue to talk the Walsh talk: team-first defence, elite standards. And they continue to employ Walsh's tactics.

Walsh loved attack.

This is the coach who, just for the spectacle of it, played Dangerfield on Nat Fyfe in round nine (for the record, Dangerfield got 38 disposals and Fyfe had 40).

And Walsh loved planning to attack; the tactics, the devil in the detail.

"I just love the intricacies of it and the machinations of everything," Walsh said in January.

"Some people find that bit the harder part. That is the bit I have always really enjoyed the most."

Those bits start at centre bounces: the Crows are ranked first for centre clearances.

And include how to get the ball around the ground: the Crows rank second for winning contested possessions.

And also how to attack: the Crows are third-highest scorers; rank second for most inside 50m entries.

Walker is fourth on the goalkicker's list with 55, Eddie Betts third with 58, and teammate Josh Jenkins has booted 42 goals.

Walsh's love of attack was only bettered by winning one coveted statistic: getting the ball when it's on the ground.

And his captain Walker believes Walsh's key performance indicator, winning ground ball gets, will be decisive in Saturday night's elimination final against the Western Bulldogs.

"Embrace the arm wrestle," Walker says.

"It's going to be a contested style of game and I think we're pretty good at that."

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