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Edwards' last Crows game 'no motivator'

By Steve Larkin 03/06/2010 04:37:23 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide stalwart Tyson Edwards' last AFL game is about respect not motivation, coach Neil Craig says.

Edwards will end a 321-match AFL career in Saturday's clash with Fremantle at AAMI Stadium.

But the 33-year-old's farewell won't be tapped to motivate the battling Crows, Craig says.

"The way we are treating it is obviously an opportunity for him to play his last game," Craig said on Thursday.

"But apart from that, we have never made a big fuss about playing 300 games or that sort of thing, I don't think it motivates people.

"Give Tyson the respect that (his) record deserves - 16 seasons, 320-odd games. And importantly, you don't last that long if you are not playing at a high level.

"In terms of using it as a motivating factor, no."

Craig recognised there would be hype surrounding Saturday's game revolved around Edwards.

"We are not trying to deliberately downplay it, we are just treating it as we normally do," he said.

Craig initially refused to guarantee the retiring Edwards a swansong before changing his tune and gifting the durable onballer his farewell match.

"People talk about `well, where are your uncompromising values that you have at your footy club' which is absolutely correct, I am not arguing that," he said.

"This one is probably more about being inclusive, the other value that we have as well.

"People will debate whether it's right, wrong or indifferent - that is not an issue for me, I had to make a decision and I sit really comfortable with that."

Craig said it was important Edwards "feels really comfortable in being able to walk back into our footy club in the future".

"And I'm sure he'll be able to do that," he said.

"And hopefully in a few years time, Tyson - I am sure he'll appreciate it but will really understand what it means - that he can come back to our football club and feel comfortable to walk back in and feel that he belongs here, and that is part of the exercise.

"For our supporter base, to be able to have the opportunity to come and say goodbye and thank you to a guy that has given exceptional performance, that is important for our club."

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