All is not well at West Lakes, having lost their first six games of an expectant season, suffering the retirement of captain Simon Goodwin and suspending three players due to off-field indiscretions.
And now the Adelaide Crows have lost 320 game veteran and midfield maestro Tyson Edwards through his immediate retirement.
No farewell match, no recognition of his outstanding service over the last sixteen years. Something just doesn’t add up.
Edwards hasn’t been in the best of form. However, he’s been averaging 21 touches a game, second only to the reigning club champion Bernie Vince. He’s been contributing more to the side than a number of players, including other veterans Michael Doughty and Brett Burton.
Edwards was reportedly keen to play on in 2011. So, how did this sudden resignation occur?
The whisper resonating loudly from Adelaide is that Edwards was not selected in the weekend’s squad to play St Kilda in Melbourne. This is a staggering fact for a number of reasons. Edwards had been playing solid footy and is a major influence on the young Crows midfield. Surely, with 320 games and two premierships, he is entitled to play until the end of the season and go out on his own terms?
The Crows were reportedly keen for Edwards to keep playing, but also stated that he was not guaranteed a return to the AFL side. What other sixteen year stalwart of one club would accept these terms?
It’s an embarrassing and quite frankly offensive offer to one of their best players in the franchise’s short history. Edwards was outraged (rightly so) and chose to end his career on the spot.
Adelaide has form in regards to shuffling their players out in an inglorious fashion. The Crows second captain Tony McGuinness was delisted after the 1996 season, a move vindicated by the Crows winning the next two premierships. Iconic defender Nigel Smart was pushed out midway through 2004. Ben Hart was delisted after the 2006 season against his wishes, and nominated for the draft where he was overlooked. Both Smart and Hart have resolved their differences with the club. Smart is now a board member with the Crows and Hart has been an assistant coach to Neil Craig.
It remains to be seen as to whether Edwards will play any further role with the club off-field.
Edwards will be a massive loss to the Crows. One club players don’t come along very often, especially in the hustle and bustle of modern footy. Edwards was renowned for his tireless efforts and unmatched consistency. He was a champion of the Adelaide Crows, and regardless of how the Crows are under-performing in 2010, he deserved better.
This is simply another blot on the Adelaide Crows disappointing 2010 season.