Walker says ‘Dons struggling in AFL

Adelaide captain Taylor Walker has expressed sympathy for Essendon’s plight after the Crows showed them no mercy in their AFL mismatch.

The Crows demolished the Bombers by 112 points, meaning more pressure on coach James Hird as Essendon continue a review of the football department.

Essendon will hold a monthly board meeting on Thursday.

Walker is the latest Adelaide player to comment on how dispirited their opponents were during the Etihad Stadium match.

“It’s very sad to see such a great club struggling,” Walker told Triple M.

“I don’t want to go into it too much, but they seemed to be disagreeing a lot on the field and probably not playing for each other as you’d probably like.

“So we … took full advantage of that.

“You do feel for the individuals.”

Also on Monday, former Essendon premiership captain Tim Watson said he hoped the club would wait until the review is completed before deciding on Hird’s future.

Hird is contracted for another year and wants to stay on as coach.

But he conceded after Saturday’s debacle that others might not agree with him.

“I would like to see the club complete its review before that decision is made. It’s about everything,” Watson told SEN.

“Of course, central to the review to the way the team is performing is the role of the coach.

“Do the players believe in the coach’s message? Do they understand the coach’s message? Is he getting it through to the players? Do the players believe?”

The WADA appeal against 34 current and past Essendon players undoubtedly has affected player morale.

The Bombers had three wins and three losses before WADA announced the appeal in May – since then they have won only twice in 13 games.

“The WADA thing still hangs over their head,” Watson said.

“Whether you change the coach or not that is still there, and still a problem for everybody at the club.

“That’s one of the major problems here.”

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