Crows delist tough-tagging Shirley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows delist tough-tagging Shirley

By Daniel Brettig 13/10/2009 05:59:04 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide tagger Robert Shirley, acknowledged by star midfield duo Gary Ablett and Chris Judd as the most challenging run-with player in the AFL, has been delisted by the Crows.

Both Ablett and Judd singled out 29-year-old Shirley this year when asked about their most difficult opponents, but that was not enough to prevent him from being jettisoned after 151 games.

Injury-prone forward Nick Gill (17 games), Greg Gallman, Aaron Kite and Tom Lee (no games) were also cut from the Crows' list.

Shirley was deemed surplus to requirements after teammate Michael Doughty assumed many of the tagging duties in 2009 while also offering more as an attacking weapon.

Still, Crows football operations manager John Reid offered generous praise for a player who never had it easy.

"Robert is one of those players who has maximised his abilities to get the best out of himself," Reid said.

"That has earned him the respect of everybody at the club and within the industry."

Shirley's delisting followed a trade week in which Adelaide did not complete any business for the second year in a row.

Crows chief executive Steven Trigg said the Crows' lack of involvement in a trade week where most clubs had been in a frenzy to either improve their list of load up on early draft picks was a reflection of the long-term planning the club had made.

"Because we don't effect a trade in the end, don't think for a moment that we haven't had discussions about the players that will be delisted," he said on Tuesday.

"We don't put up the shutters and say we won't have any discussion, but it's more an indication that we're happy with our list after the delistings, happy with our list for 2010 and what we project beyond, to not to have to go mucking around with the structure of the group.

"So don't do it (trade) for the sake of doing it."

The Crows opened their new $20 million training and supporters facility on Tuesday, a development Trigg said did not preclude the club from moving their home games away from AAMI Stadium.

Adelaide Oval's SA Cricket Association custodians have made no secret of their desire to move AFL matches into the city, away from their current home at West Lakes.

"We're open minded and I think we need to remain open minded as a club," Trigg said.

"Your perfect scenario is to have this alongside your home ground.

"But if we had to move away from here for playing games and it was for the benefit of the club and football to do it, nothing changes here."

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