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   Jul 06

Phil Walsh death: Adelaide starts difficult process of preparing for life ahead

ADELAIDE has begun the difficult process of planning the second half of their season following the tragic death of coach Phil Walsh, and hope to finalise their coaching set-up in the next day.
Nanjing Night Net

A tribute left for allegedly murdered Adelaide coach Phil Walsh. Picture: Getty Images.

The players gathered at the club on Saturday morning for a light training session and to spend time more time together after a casual dinner on Friday night.

Captain Taylor Walker said he was feeling numb, paying tribute to the man who had had a huge influence on the club and who he said he had begun to fall in love with.

The Adelaide hierarchy met on Saturday morning to discuss the coaching set-up for the remaining games, with chief executive Andrew Fagan and chairman Rob Chapman indicating the role would be covered from within.

Walsh was supported in the coaching department by David Teague, Scott Camporeale, Matthew Clarke and Darren Milburn.

“The club will make that known, probably tomorrow. We know that we want as little disruption as we possibly can,” Chapman said on Saturday.

“I think it’s impossible to go external, so people within the club will step up and we’ll be able to cover that.

“Everyone is going to have to take on some extra responsibilities, and everyone knows what they will have to do.

“Phil was really big on team and everyone playing their role, but it was only two days ago when the footy department sat down and were making plans for the future.

“That was good because we got a really good insight into the current coaching group and support staff, direct from Phil.

“On reflection, that discussion was quite pertinent. We’ll probably make some small announcements tomorrow and internally people will step up to the plate and we’ll deal with the games ahead.”

Chapman hoped to talk to Walsh’s wife Meredith on Saturday and said the club would provide her and the coach’s family with all the support they needed with funeral arrangements.

Fagan said he had a “very difficultconversation” with her on Friday, and that the club had dispatched one of its welfare managers to be with her.

The wellbeing of the players and other staff members remained front of mind for everyone at the club on Saturday, with counselling provided for anyone who needed it.

“That offer is being made. Understandably she’s in a horrible position at the moment with what’s occurred,” Chapman said on ABC Radio.

“There will be no resource spared to assist her in any way that she sees fit to ask. We’ll certainly offer, and we’ll assist.”

Walker said the players were lucky to have each other and that they intended to stick together.

“When we heard the news, everyone took it their own way but it’s a pretty numb feeling at the moment. When you lose your head honcho it hits you pretty hard,” he said.

“He’s just a great man and one that I started to fall in love with.”

Hundreds of supporters continued to visit the club’s AAMI Stadium headquarters on Saturday, placing flowers, scarves, jumpers and other tributes by the front door.

Adelaide Oval will open its gates to supporters on Sunday afternoon, when the Crows had been due to play Geelong in their cancelled match.

The siren will sound at 2.50pm, when the game had been scheduledto start, and supporters will be able to spend a little over an hour on the ground playing kick-to-kick.

Fagan said he found the joint gesture made by Hawthorn and Collingwood on Friday night “extraordinary”, with the players and coaches linking arms in the centre circle after their game at the MCG.

“They’re class individuals and class clubs and it was a touching moment that brought a tear to more than just my eye,” Fagan said.

“This has been a tough place to be over the last 24 hours but, as I’ve said, I don’t think there’s a better place to be when tragedy strikes than a football club.

“We’re resilient beasts, football clubs, we’ve got that sense of team. People look after each other and rely on each other.

“That’s what you need to get through these types of situations and that’s what all the 100 people at this footy club will be doing for each other for as long as it takes.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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