Craig emotional over Crows re-signing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Craig emotional over Crows re-signing

By Daniel Brettig 15/08/2008 05:22:33 PM Comments (0)

Loyalty does still exist in the high stakes world of professional sport after all.

That was the heartening conclusion to take from Adelaide coach Neil Craig's candid explanation of why he would never work as the senior coach of another AFL club.

Craig signed a two-year contract extension this week to keep him at the Crows until the end of the 2011 season, a tenure that would make him by some distance the longest-serving Adelaide coach.

At the contract announcement Craig said he would never coach for another club, and on Friday he revealed the tight bond to South Australian football that ensured he would not be changing that position.

"This club you are talking about, obviously it is a heritage thing," Craig said.

"The SANFL has played a big part in my life, the three clubs I have played with, in particular Norwood where I started.

"So the short answer is just a strong emotional attachment I have to this club in particular, the way it was formed, what it represents, you know its a representation of the 10 clubs at the time of SANFL footy.

"I was lucky enough to play for a long time in the SANFL, play state footy for the SANFL, so it is purely a personal, very much a personal individual point of view.

"I'm not saying it is right, probably only right for me, its just the way I feel about SA footy and if I can put something back into it for this club only, that would do me."

Under the 52-year-old Craig, the Crows have fought to build a culture that encourages recruits from across the nation to buy into the concept of Adelaide, meaning young players would not be inclined to simply turn tail and fly back to Melbourne at the completion of their initial contract.

Ruckman Ivan Maric, no doubt influenced by Craig's attitude, said the players had developed a strong sense of loyalty to the club and to each other.

"The good thing about this year is we've bonded really well, especially the young guys coming through and the mateship between us is really strong and you can see it in the way we're playing," he said this week.

"Hopefully we can keep that and make that really strong for the future - it really helps, I believe."

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