Taylor Walker, an Adelaide forward, will participate in the Crows’ best and fairest count on Saturday night after the club delegated the decision to the players.
On Friday morning, the Crows formally approved Walker, advising him that he was welcome to attend the ceremony, which is expected to draw 700 Adelaide fans.
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Crows best and fairest 2021
The announcement comes a day after the 31-year-old admitted his playing future was uncertain as he works to repair the damage he caused Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders when he used a racially derogatory term to refer to North Adelaide’s Robbie Young during a quarter-time break of a match played at Prospect Oval on July 17.
Crows Best and Fairest
An emotional Walker apologized for his comment and said he needed to mend his connections with many individuals in the profession in his first appearance before the media since he was suspended for six matches and fined $20,000.
He admitted he initially panicked and denied using the racial slur after an Adelaide official reported him, but eventually realised he had to own what he said and face the consequences.
“When I first was pushed on this, I was in denial. I panicked, and I was scared, and I thought about myself,” Walker told reporters in Adelaide.
“I let time go, and I said to myself, ‘This is not about me, it’s about Robbie and the Adelaide official and the pain I caused to them’, and that’s when I said I’m coming forward to own this. And I want to get better for it.”
Adelaide Crows Best and Fairest 2021
He said the Indigenous players on Adelaide’s list had been open and honest in communicating to him the hurt he had caused and the significance of what he said.
“I am just so remorseful for the things that I said, and we have had some really open and honest conversations, and they’ve expressed the pain and hurt it caused. That hurts,” Walker said.
“I have apologised and for me now I want to be judged on what I do from hereon in.
“I’m ashamed of what I said, and I have got some work to do.
“It’s now up to me to repair that relationship and reconcile and get some more education for myself because clearly I am not at the level.”
Adelaide crows best and fairest 2021
Walker is contracted to play next season but said a decision on whether he would continue was not uppermost in his mind.
“To me at the moment, playing is not my priority. Repairing relationships with the people that I have hurt is my main priority,” Walker said.
He claimed that all parties involved in the AFL’s racial vilification rules conciliation process had signed confidentiality agreements.
He stated he spoke with former teammate Eddie Betts, the Carlton champion, who expressed his displeasure with Walker’s actions after the event was made public and spoke about the continual racial abuse he and other Indigenous players faced throughout their careers.
“I have caused so much hurt and can’t say how sorry I am,” Walker said.
“I have got some work to do to repair the relationship with Betts. I have hurt him and his family and community like I have for all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, so I have got some work to do, and I am going to go to work.”
Walker became emotional when asked about the effect his conduct had had on his immediate family.
“That’s been the hardest thing, how I have let my family down,” Walker said.
“The impact it has had on them … I have got some work to do with them.”
Adelaide Crows Best and Fairest
After a strong SANFL season, Adelaide ruckman Kieran Strachan has won the State League Club Champion Award.
Strachan received 90 votes, finishing ahead of James Borlase (77 votes) and Ronin O’Connor (70 votes) (73 votes).
The top five were completed out by Billy Frampton and Josh Worrell.
Across 15 SANFL games this season, the big guy dominated in the ruck, averaging 36.4 hit-outs and 16.1 disposals.
He also had three goals and 3.9 clearances on the season.
In the Round Three match against Woodville-West Torrens, the 25-year-old was a star, finishing with 52 hit-outs, four clearances, and three inside-50s.
In Adelaide’s Round 12 triumph over West Adelaide, he also dazzled with his tap technique.
Strachan demolished the hit-outs 41-15 and snuck forward to kick a goal despite the rain.
His impressive SANFL performance aided his promotion to the AFL side for the Round 22 and Round 23 games against Melbourne and North Melbourne, respectively.
With a total of 564 hit-outs from 15 games, Strachan finished second in the SANFL’s hit-outs tally.
The ruckman, who is from South Bendigo, previously played in the VFL for Essendon and Port Melbourne before being taken with pick No. 7 in the 2018 Rookie Draft by the Crows.
He then went on to earn an AFL debut in Round Nine, 2020.
The State League Club Champion voting process follows the same protocol as the senior side, with the coaching panel, led by Michael Godden, rating every player from 0 – 4 after each match.
Strachan has become Adelaide’s sixth SANFL Club Champion and follows Patrick Wilson (2019, 2018), Scott Thompson, Jonathon Beech and two-time winner Ian Callinan.
The award was not given out in 2020 as the Crows did not take part in the 2020 SANFL season due to Covid-19.