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McLeod threatens to walk from Crows

By Steve Larkin 30/07/2010 05:25:03 PM Comments (0)

Andrew McLeod has told his Adelaide teammates he'll quit if his tell-all book damages the AFL club.

McLeod this week fronted Adelaide's players and coaches and pledged to walk from the club if his biography reopened wounds that split the players.

In the book, McLeod details his bitter feud with fellow Crow Tyson Edwards which wrecked their friendship to the point they have not spoken for five years - and never will again.

"There is nothing between us, nothing," McLeod said in the book of Edwards, his teammate of 15 years.

McLeod, Adelaide's games record holder, wanted to be traded from the Crows at the end of 2005, insulted by a lack of support from the club when the conflict with Edwards erupted.

"I was very serious, I wasn't bluffing," McLeod said in the book. "I was adamant I was going."

McLeod's once strong friendship with Edwards was forever ruined five years ago, culminating with their wives clashing in public after a club champion function.

Adelaide coach Neil Craig on Friday confirmed McLeod had vowed to walk from the Crows if his book fractured the club.

"Andrew was happy to put that on the table when he spoke to the players the other day," Craig said.

"It has been put on the table with the playing group ... I don't think it will get to that."

Craig said McLeod's account of the end of his friendship with Edwards was "old news" within the club.

"It's great news to the outside world, I understand that, but I am serious when I say internally it is old news for us," he said.

"But I understand outside people want to know about it - it's in a book, it's now documented, but all the stuff that I have read ... is exactly what has been discussed here, so it's old news.

"It doesn't take our eye off the ball because it's not something that has jumped out at us."

Craig conceded this week's release of the book - Black Crow, The Andrew McLeod Story - was easier to handle because Edwards was retired.

Edwards, whose 321 games leave him second behind McLeod on Adelaide's games played list, quit after round 11 this year.

"If Tyson had been here, it could have been different," Craig said.

The Crows coach said the fact both players remained at the club until the end of the careers was "a big tick for our footy club".

McLeod, 34 next week, is expected to retire at season's end.

In his book, the 340-gamer criticised Craig for a lack of communication when he became head coach in 2005.

He said their relationship was now "good", after McLeod approached Craig before last season and requested greater depth in their relationship.

"I wouldn't have said it was great before," McLeod said in the book.

Craig said McLeod's criticism was "a fair assessment".

"I have assumed too much, as a senior player, that you don't need as much input and coaching, and I take that on board," Craig said.

"And we have tried to build that relationship since he approached me about that.

"The fact that he felt comfortable to come and approach me suggests that our relationship certainly wasn't broken."

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