Crows aim to avoid coach turmoil - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows aim to avoid coach turmoil

By Roger Vaughan 07/03/2011 08:17:09 PM Comments (0)

The messy departures of Mark Williams and Matthew Knights last year helped prompt AFL club Adelaide to adopt their radical new agreement with coach Neil Craig.

Rather than reappoint Craig on a contract, the Crows will make him a member of staff, meaning he has no defined length of employment.

The Crows, or Craig, can end his employment after an undisclosed period of notice.

"That period of notice is short, I can tell you," said Crows chief executive Stephen Trigg.

The Crows and Craig admitted Williams' ugly departure from Port Adelaide and Essendon's ruthless sacking of Knights last year helped influence their new agreement.

"It becomes messy, it becomes costly, it can affect membership, it destabilises people internally in your football club," Craig said at Monday's announcement.

"You sit there (and ask) surely there's a better way of doing this? so here's maybe one model - I mean, it's not for everyone.

"But it's certainly right for me, selfishly, I'm really comfortable with it.

"The only security I need is my belief to do the job - I don't need a two or three-year net."

Before this, Craig was in the closing stages of a three-year contract and was among eight senior coaches coming out of their deals at the end of this season.

Collingwood has a succession plan with Mick Malthouse to step aside for Nathan Buckley after this season and take up a created role of director of coaching.

But Trigg said he is yet to see how a coaching director role would work, calling it "a risk".

The Crows hope that once Craig stops being senior coach, they will be able to utilise his vast experience in sports science.

Craig worked extensively with the Australian track cycling team before taking over as Crows coach late in the 2004 season.

Well before the new agreement, Craig had said he would walk away if he or the club felt his regime was not working.

They were 0-6 at the start of last season but recovered to finish 11th.

While Craig says he will not be senior coach elsewhere in the AFL, he added he could work at another club.

The 55-year-old said he is "very open ended" about how much longer he can be Adelaide's senior coach.

Trigg said the new arrangement put more pressure on the Crows and Craig, but meant "supreme flexibility" for the club.

"It puts us on the hook a bit, really ... because we need to make a constant assessment about whether we're headed in the right direction with our senior coach," he said.

"So for those out there who say 'well, it's all very comfortable', it's far from it, in fact, this is all about performance, it's not about a job for life."

Meanwhile, young defender Brodie Martin will not need a knee reconstruction.

Martin hurt his knee in Friday's practice match against Carlton but the damage is not as bad as first feared.

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