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Criticism of Tex unfair: Reilly

Adelaide Crows assistant coach and former 200 gamer Brent Reilly has labelled criticism directed at former skipper Taylor Walker ‘unfair’ after the 30 year old’s disappointing start to the season.

Walker has been ruled out of the Crows clash with West Coast with a knee injury that he has been battling for several weeks, leaving the winless club without one of their senior leaders.

“It’s one of those things that just keeps lingering around for Tex,” Reilly told Sports Drive on Tuesday.

“He’s managed it really well, but when you get to the latter stages of your career sometimes you’ve just got to have that treatment you need and just rest up for 1-2 weeks. He’ll freshen up, do some training and we look forward to him coming back in to the team in 1-2 weeks time.”

Reilly, who played 203 games for Adelaide and is now in charge of defensive development said the criticism of Walker was difficult to understand.

“I think people just keep pestering him maybe because of his character. But he’s one of the greatest blokes I’ve ever met and he’s a great friend of mine,” he said.

“He’d do anything for you. The way he plays his footy, he’s a genuine footballer. We love it when he gets the ball in his hands. For him to be criticised like he is, I think it’s unfair.”

Walker has kicked just 5 goals in 5 games this year, as he closes in on the all time goalkicking record for the club, currently held by former high flyer Tony Modra.

Elliott Himmelberg is a likely inclusion for Walker in the Crows match against West Coast at the Gabba on Saturday, while small forward Tyson Stengle is available for selection after being suspended for four games for a drink driving indiscretion during the AFL season break.

Adelaide are winless through five rounds, sitting on the bottom of the ladder for a rare time in their proud and illustrious history.

Reilly said there were encouraging signs however in their round 5 loss to Fremantle.

“I felt that our first three quarters were at the level that we thought we can play at. Unfortunately, we just didn’t finish off our good work. We missed some easy goals and turned the ball over in some bad areas and they just went down and kicked some goals,” he said.

“Our time in forward half was at its highest for the year. I just felt we played some of our footy that we want to play, unfortunately we just let that lapse in the last quarter and Freo kicked away on us.”

The fallout from the Crows 2018 pre-season camp has continued, with an investigative article on the camp saga appearing in Melbourne newspapers over the weekend.

Reilly said the club had moved on from the camp and had its eyes on the future.

“It’s just one of those things that just keeps coming up. We don’t really associate with that anymore. We’ve got a new coach, a new footy department. We’re looking to the future, we’re not really looking back at the past and what happened on that camp.

“We’re looking forward. We’ve got a young list with a new coach who are trying to implement some strategies around getting our young group to learn the new game style and adapt to us playing some good footy and winning some footy.

“We’re on a pathway up. We have hit the lows and now we’re just looking forward to coming out there under Nicksy’s (coach Matthew Nicks) guidance to win some footy and push for a premiership sooner rather than later.”

The Crows returned home to Adelaide on Sunday night, but will return to Queensland later this week to play West Coast before they host St Kilda in round 7.

IMAGE: The West Australian.


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