McLeod, Edwards celebrate longevity - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McLeod, Edwards celebrate longevity

By Daniel Brettig 10/07/2009 04:11:56 PM Comments (0)

For squabbling teammates, or even warring nations, there is a rich lesson to be learned from the tale of Andrew McLeod and Tyson Edwards.

On opposite sides of a painful personal rift that started with their partners in 2006 and also involved tennis ace and Adelaide supporter Lleyton Hewitt, McLeod and Edwards found a way to co-exist.

Their ability to remain at the Crows through thick and thin, despite a relationship that will remain forever strained, has been rewarded with a remarkable record - on Saturday night against Fremantle they will play their 290th match together, the most by two teammates in AFL history.

After first running out together in round 11, 1995 against the Western Bulldogs - then known as Footscray - McLeod and Edwards will pass venerable Richmond duo Kevin Bartlett and Francis Bourke, who played 289 games together in the Tigers' glory days of the 1970s and `80s.

Adelaide coach Neil Craig said it was a milestone to be celebrated because of the personal differences, not in spite of them.

"I understand because of the situation that's been there between Andrew and Tyson, that people want to shy away from that," Craig said.

"But to me I see the positive side of that relationship, to me that's been a great credit to both players, a great credit to the playing group of our footy club.

"I'm really pleased that both Andrew and Tyson will finish their careers at the one club, that's been really important, and still playing outstanding football, and still playing great team football.

"In hindsight it's been a really good little case scenario for our football club to go through.

"It's not a sensitive issue for us, it's there, we're dealing with it, we dealt with it, and after the heartache of it all, we've only got positives out of it."

Craig admitted that in post-season 2006, when the McLeod and Edwards families endured a very public, alcohol-fuelled spat at the club's end-of-season awards night, the easiest option would have been to jettison one player.

"The easiest option to deal with it would've been to move one on, everyone would've said `yeah', then there would've been debate about who, but I think we actually took the hard option to give both guys an opportunity to finish their careers," he said.

"When it is finished they can say we played our whole career, 300 games, at the Adelaide Football Club and not 10 games at another club or whatever it would've been.

"That didn't just affect the playing side, that affected the management and the whole thing, so that's what I mean by it being a positive situation."

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