Adelaide midfielder Richard Douglas says there’s one more way that Crows players can honour their slain coach Phil Walsh: defeat arch AFL rival Port Adelaide.
Douglas believes an emotional memorial service for Walsh on Wednesday offered grieving Crows players some clear air to again focus on football.
“It was a great celebration of Walshy’s life and now it’s about trying to play the way he wanted us to play, especially this week,” Douglas told reporters on Thursday.
“You will always remember Phil and enjoy the times that we had together.
“… For us now, it’s about this weekend and performing and getting the job done, as he would say.”
Douglas said concentrating on football had been tough since Walsh was allegedly murdered by his 26-year-old son on July 3.
But the experienced onballer said Crows players had now narrowed their focus to Sunday’s grudge match against Port at Adelaide Oval.
“There’s a lot more clarity amongst the playing group,” he said.
“It was really tough last weekend and at times personally I found it hard to concentrate on the game of footy.
“But this week at training there has been a lot more clarity, a lot more focus on the game plan and playing footy itself.”
The Crows have slipped out of the top eight since Walsh’s death – their round 14 match against Geelong was abandoned before they returned to action last weekend when heavily defeated by West Coast.
But Douglas said the ninth-placed Crows had a steely resolve not to let their season slip away in the wake of Walsh’s death.
“It has been a tough few weeks, no doubt,” he said.
“We had a great tribute yesterday and now it’s about performance and winning this week and trying to get back on track and really make something out of this season yet.
“We’re still in a reasonable position. Our destiny is still in our own hands.
“If we can win enough games we can get there (finals) and make an impact so the boys are committed to that.
“It’s not easy but it’s something we really want to do.
“There is no better way to pay tribute to Phil than to play the way he wanted us to play and get something out of the season.”