AFL’s Port, Crows unite for Phil Walsh

AFL clubs Port Adelaide and Adelaide have struck a medal in Phil Walsh’s honour as part of a “final salute” to the dead coach.

Port will host the Crows on Sunday at Adelaide Oval with the best player on the ground to receive the Phillip Walsh Medal.

The medal is part of a host of tributes planned on Sunday for Walsh, who was allegedly murdered by his son on July 3.

Port and Crows players will run through the same banner pre-match and supporter groups of both clubs will stage a joint march to the stadium.

After the game, the clubs will ask supporters for a minute’s applause for Walsh, rather than a minute’s silence.

“We see this as a final salute,” Port’s chief executive Keith Thomas told reporters on Thursday.

“I don’t think the tone of a minute’s silence is appropriate, we have seen a lot of that. I think it’s time to move past that and the minute’s applause seems to be an appropriate way to finish.

“There is a feeling in the community that the real outpouring of emotion has been very draining … the feel is it’s time we get back to loving the game again.”

The Phillip Walsh Medal was, at this stage, a one-off with the clubs to meet post-season to determine if it will continue in the future.

While united on Sunday for Walsh, Thomas and his Crows counterpart Andrew Fagan both want the fierce rivalry between the South Australian clubs to extend.

“I expect that rivalry will return to where it came from and I hope that it does,” Fagan told reporters.

“It’s the greatest rivalry in footy, probably the greatest rivalry in Australian sport, and I want it to continue.

“Out of that rivalry, maybe it’s almost because of the fact it exists that we have the capacity to have people join with such respect in a moment of need.”

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