Walker's drink small beer to Crows coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Walker's drink small beer to Crows coach

Sam Lienert 22/05/2011 07:12:15 PM Comments (0)

Dropped Adelaide forward Taylor Walker having a beer at the footy is no big deal to Crows coach Neil Craig.

Craig says he will speak to the talented 21-year-old, who was caught by television cameras drinking in the stands with mates at a curtain-raiser to Saturday's AFL match between Port Adelaide and Fremantle at AAMI Stadium.

There was speculation it would anger the Adelaide hierarchy or Walker's Crows teammates, particularly as the forward is rumoured to be headed to expansion club Greater Western Sydney next season.

But Craig played it down, saying provided Taylor was not drunk, the only issue was how the episode was perceived publicly.

"My understanding is he was at the footy having a beer, I don't think he was intoxicated," Craig said.

"If he was at home having a barbecue with his mate and having a beer it wouldn't be an issue would it?

"I think it's a perception, isn't it. Symbolism or perception, I would think that's probably the biggest issue."

While Walker was named as an emergency for the Crows' clash with Collingwood on Sunday, it had already been decided he would not travel with the team and he played for his SANFL club Norwood on Friday night.

He was the Crows' leading goal-kicker after his six AFL games this season, and has kicked hauls of seven and five goals for Norwood since being dropped.

But Craig said he had been demoted as there were areas of his game that needed work.

The defensive aspects are understood to be the main issue, as Walker has laid just two tackles in six games this year.

But the coach said he had taken his axing in the right manner.

"I can't question his attitude at our football club and his work ethic and what he's trying to really take on board, the things that we're asking him to do," Craig said.

He said he had not asked Walker about the GWS speculation.

"That will unfold as time goes by, it puts a huge amount of pressure on players from speculation," Craig said.

"Still, the best policy for me is to be up front with your football club, if (players) feel confident to do that and feel safe enough to do it, then that puts everything to bed."

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