Adelaide finished 2019 in 11th spot.
Adelaide finished 2019 in 11th spot.

Legend’s furious swipe at ‘stupid’ Crows

DUAL Adelaide premiership coach Malcolm Blight has launched an extraordinary, scathing attack on the Crows, claiming "this is the weakest" state he's ever seen the club in.

Blight's comments come in the wake of Adelaide's announcement an external review of the club had commenced and would take several weeks to complete.

The Crows finished 2019 with seven losses from their final nine games, including a dispirited 34-point loss to the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat on Sunday.

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After starting the season as one of the top flag fancies, the Crows finished the season in 11th spot with a 10-12 record.

Blight said it was "disturbing" that Adelaide had only produced two "spikes" in the past decade, finishing third in 2012 and runners-up in 2017 amid a string of 14th to 11th-place finishes.

In a lengthy rant on Sportsday SA, Blight, who coached Adelaide to its only two AFL premierships in 1997 and 1998, said the Crows' current predicament was sad.

"This is a mediocre football club and until someone actually grabs it by the throat and changes it, it's going to continue," Blight said.

Malcolm Blight with his statute at Adelaide Oval. Picture: Sarah Reed
Malcolm Blight with his statute at Adelaide Oval. Picture: Sarah Reed

"You can talk about coaching, you can talk about player recruitment, you can talk about list management. But to actually do this, to have an external review on what a lot of people are getting paid internally to actually make those decisions, I think this is the weakest I've seen the Adelaide Football Club."

The Crows confirmed on Monday that an external panel of experts would be brought in initially before football-specific experts would later assess all elements of the football department.

It is expected the review will determine the futures of many senior club figures, including football manager Brett Burton and senior coach Don Pyke.



But Blight said it was pointless conducting an external review while the players are on leave.

"How are they (external reviewers) going to judge the coaching fraternity - from Don Pyke down - and how are they going to judge what they do with the players, which is the business of the football club, when the players aren't there they're on holidays?" Blight asked.

"Stupid, mediocrity at its best. It is a lack of leadership. I'm telling you now, it is one of the worst decisions.

"I don't care who says what, how can you judge a coach when the players aren't there and see what they do?"

Jonah Oliver, the lead sports psychologist with the Australian Institute of Sport, will join sports scientist Tim Gabbett on a four-member external panel to review the Crows' operations.

The panel, formed after Adelaide missed the finals for consecutive years, will be finalised with the naming of two more members.

The external review would complement a separate in-house review of Adelaide's failed season.

Oliver has worked with Olympians, Essendon, A-League club Brisbane and elite golfers and tennis players in the past.

Gabbett has worked with Australia's Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams, Cricket Australia and NRL club Melbourne Storm among others.

News Corp Australia

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