Clouds of grief have cleared at the Adelaide Crows, stand-in coach Scott Camporeale says.
The AFL club has spent the past fortnight mourning the death of head coach Phil Walsh, who was allegedly murdered by his son on July 3.
“We love Phil and we’ll miss him but at the end of the day we have still got to win games of footy and win the right to play finals, so that is what we’re going after,” Camporeale told reporters on Friday.
Camporeale said Adelaide’s training ahead of Sunday’s grudge match against arch-rival Port Adelaide had been “unbelievable”.
“With what has happened, there has been a lot of cloudiness,” he said.
“The game is hard enough as it is without having side issues.
“So the challenge for us as a coaching group is to take a step back and reinforce what we went after and make it really clear and that is what we have done.
“The training has reflected that. And I reckon there is a renewed refreshness about how we’re going to play again.”
Camporeale dropped ex-captain Nathan van Berlo due to poor form while throwing AFL lifelines to James Podsiadly and Sam Shaw.
Van Berlo had played every game this year after missing the entire 2014 season because of an Achilles injury.
“He has missed a lot of footy and sometimes there are issues with consistency … 12 months out of the game is a long time,” Camporeale said.
“By his own admission he’s not playing the way that he would like to play … some of the stuff he has done has been really good, it’s just the consistency.”
Podsiadly, 33, hasn’t featured at AFL level this season while Shaw returns from a chronic hamstring injury which restricted him to six games last season.
“Pods … has played really well at SANFL level, he’s a real target forward for us, he deserves to be in,” Camporeale said.
“And Sam Shaw has come back from a real long-term injury and speaking to Sammy and seeing the way he’s training and playing, he’s in a real good headspace, so it’s a great reward for him.
“He feels as confident he has ever been in his body which is a great sign.”