Crows to send off Edwards in style - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows to send off Edwards in style

By Steve Larkin 28/05/2010 02:38:55 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide have admitted to bending their values by granting club stalwart Tyson Edwards' wish for a fairytale AFL farewell.

Crows coach Neil Craig said on Friday he was disappointed at his initial decision to reject Edwards' plea for a last game before his home crowd.

Conceding he was wrong, Craig has backflipped and Edwards will now play his 321st and final AFL game at home against Fremantle in round 11.

An emotional Edwards on Friday fought back tears when detailing his reasoning for suddenly retiring.

The 33-year-old quit after being dropped from Adelaide's side to play St Kilda in Melbourne on Saturday night.

The durable midfielder, who has played more games than any Crow bar Andrew McLeod, said a farewell game at home was "the fairytale".

"I am grateful that Craigy has had the courage to give me that game," he said.

Edwards recognised a downward spiral in form was the catalyst for his shock retirement.

"I thought it was best for myself and best for my footy club to be able to play a young guy in my position, spend some more time on them, rather than worry about what they are going to do with me," he said.

"That was basically what I based my decision on.

"I haven't been completely happy with my form, it's not at the level that I want it to be at ... my form is not good enough - that is footy.

"At some stage you have got to realise that the game has got you, and as much as you try and beat it and fight it, you can't."

Craig said his initial decision to not give Edwards a farewell match was based on his selection principles where games were not gifted to any player.

"That decision should have been based on what is best for the club rather than what is best on the selection principle which I uphold," Craig said on Friday.

Adelaide chief executive Steven Trigg acknowledged the compromise went against the club's values.

"If the outside world see it like that, that is fine ... there might be a perception out there of coming off the (club) line a fraction - that is fine, we think we have done it for the right reasons," Trigg said.

Edwards had planned to retire at season's end, his 16th in the AFL.

"It's always in the back of the mind the longer you play," he said of retirement.

"And you keep getting reminded by you guys (media) and all the young guys that I play with that I have got no hair, am bald, and slow and fat, and all that.

"It's a pretty grounding game and you get put back in your box pretty quickly."

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