Keep faith in Crows coach: McLeod - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Keep faith in Crows coach: McLeod

By Daniel Brettig 20/05/2009 06:48:57 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide ace Andrew McLeod believes the Crows should break with club tradition and allow Neil Craig to carry on with the development of the list even if they miss the AFL finals in 2009.

Since inaugural coach Graham Cornes departed in 1994, no-one has managed to keep his job at the end of a non-finals season unless it has been their first in charge of the club.

The record is indicative of the pressure never far away from Adelaide given their large supporter base in a two-team town, but McLeod felt sure the club was headed in the right direction, citing their current crop of youngsters as the most exciting he had seen at West Lakes.

In the lead-up to a club record 313th game for Adelaide, McLeod said Craig had to be retained in order to fulfil his long-term vision for the team.

"No doubt," McLeod said on Wednesday.

"We internally as a club know where we're headed and there's very high expectations within the footy club and it's very demanding.

"We know we're not far away from it either, so why wouldn't you have him? Craigy's a very good teacher, a great teacher, and he's certainly pushing this club in the right direction.

"It's probably the best (group of youngsters) we've had at the footy club I think ... we know it's not far off, us as a young team going to the level we know we're capable of.

"So I'm still very excited about what lies ahead and to be able to play the type of footy we want, we've got to have that consistency across a whole game instead of doing it for two or three quarters."

McLeod has hinted that he, captain Simon Goodwin and Tyson Edwards would all want to go on for another year, a prospect made more likely by the fact that two years of high list turnover are now likely to be followed by a reduced number of changes due to draft concessions for the AFL's expansion clubs.

Regardless of when they depart, McLeod was sure the next generation would step up.

"Yeah I think so, we've seen in the past when players have retired that guys have been able to stand up and fill that void," he said.

"We're pretty confident whenever it happens, that we've got the guys and the personnel in place to be able to do that."

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