RIP Phil Walsh
Friday, July 03 2015 @ 03:42 pm ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
Sunday's match between Adelaide and Geelong has understandably been cancelled.
The following statement was made today by AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan.
Our game is in mourning today, and I speak for the whole of the AFL, our clubs, our players, our fans, and our staff in passing on our deepest sympathies to Phil Walsh’s family and friends.
The sorrow and distress felt today touches many in our industry because Phil Walsh gave such a lot to our game.
Phil made his debut in 1983 playing for the Collingwood football club. He played then for Richmond and the Brisbane Bears.
In different roles, he coached at Geelong, Port Adelaide and West Coast.
And of course he was the Adelaide Crows Senior Coach. He was a man of boundless energy, enthusiasm and great intelligence.
He was a part of the AFL family for at least 32 years, and there are not many words of comfort today for those who feel this terrible loss, in these most difficult of circumstances.
To his family, we can only say that your loved father and husband is in all our hearts, and whatever support we can offer, we will.
To the Adelaide Football Club, the AFL industry is with you, in thoughts and action today, offering all the support we can.
Today, I have spoken with many people in the industry, briefed all our club CEOs and Presidents, and the AFL Commission.
There have been discussions about the game on Sunday and even about playing this round.
We have decided that the game on Sunday between Geelong and Adelaide will not go ahead.
This is a decision of the competition, as a mark of respect to Phil Walsh.
And it is our decision, because, while playing footy can be part of the grieving process, we are strongly of the view that is it not fair to ask the young men at the Adelaide Crows, or the Geelong Cats to play in these circumstances.
This decision has the support of the clubs and the Players Association.
The premiership points will be split between the two clubs, as per the AFL rules.
We know that this decision impacts on a lot of people, including supporters and fans, including those who may have travelled or intend to travel.
We are working closely with all our partners on these issues, and the AFL and Club websites will keep members and supporters updated on arrangements.
The remaining 7 games from tonight will go ahead.
We know that the usual fun and passion of our game will not be there, but we also know that our clubs, members and supporters will gather in a spirit of respectful mourning, and in support for the family and friends of a great football man, who is loved by so many.
I want to finish by again offering the deepest sympathy to the Walsh family. The thoughts of the whole football family are with you today, and in the difficult days ahead.