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Don Pyke quits Adelaide Crows

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12th September, 2019
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The AFL coaching carousel has claimed another victim, with embattled Adelaide coach Don Pyke today resigning with two years left on his contract.

Pyke released the following statement.

“It has been an absolute privilege and joy to coach this Club and I have loved my time here trying to achieve great things with our players for our Members and fans.

“I came here with the aim of helping our players to individually and collectively be the best they can be and this has been my driving force.

“It has been a wonderful ride with some great memories and unfortunately some sad times, but now it is clear to me it is my time to move on knowing I have given my all.

“This decision has been extraordinarily difficult to reach but vital for me is the Club and playing group being able to move forward, and the health and happiness of important people in my life.”

Pyke joined the Crows ahead of the 2016 season, having previously been an assistant with West Coast. He joined the club at a fragile time, following the shock death of first-year coach Phil Walsh midway through 2015, but was able to enjoy immediate success.

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Playing a high-octane brand of football with unparalleled scoring prowess, the Crows finished fifth in his first season in charge before claiming the minor premiership a season later.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it got.

A disastrous loss to Richmond in the grand final led to the now-infamous Collective Minds pre-season training camp, where players were reportedly subject to bizarre psychological ‘tests’ like listening to the Tigers club song on repeat. Indigenous players on the list also complained of culturally insensitive practices during the camp.

Entering 2018 as a premiership favourite, Adelaide floundered and missed the finals altogether in 12th. While they were tipped to return to September this season, they could only improve their ladder position by one place, while actually losing two more games.

Pyke’s departure continues a peculiar trend at Adelaide, with no coach in club history ever successfully surviving two consecutive seasons out of the top eight.

No replacement has been named yet. Both the Crows and Dockers are in the hunt for new senior coaches, after Carlton, North Melbourne and St Kilda all gave the jobs to the caretakers.

Don Pyke’s time at Adelaide

Year Pos. Record Percentage Finals
2016 5th 16-6 138.3 Lost semi-final to Sydney
2017 1st 15-6-1 135.9 Lost grand final to Richmond
2018 12th 12-10 104.1
2019 11th 10-12 100.9
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