Jake Melksham gets his handpass out as Crows players Taylor Walker and Mitch McGovern watch on. Picture SARAH REED
Jake Melksham gets his handpass out as Crows players Taylor Walker and Mitch McGovern watch on. Picture SARAH REED

Crows welcome wantaway McGovern to dinner

ADELAIDE is facing a second club champion dinner flashpoint inside a year - wanting to keep peace with Mitch McGovern while taking a hardline trade stance on its want-away star.

McGovern is welcome to attend Adelaide's club champion award on Friday night but faces a confronting exit meeting with skipper Taylor Walker first.

Will Mitch McGovern make an apperanace at the Crows’ club champion award? Picture Sarah Reed
Will Mitch McGovern make an apperanace at the Crows’ club champion award? Picture Sarah Reed

While Walker wants clarity from McGovern, Crows true believers are flooding social media and radio talkback shows demanding answers for the club's spiral from finals contention.

McGovern and assistant coach Josh Francou deciding to walk out in the first of three-year deals adds to the external appearance of upheaval that follows Adelaide's controversial pre-season camp and injury scourge.

Adelaide star Eddie Betts on Thursday described McGovern's trade request as "pretty sad" for the club.

Walker concedes McGovern "doesn't want to be at our footy club" making for delicate management of the 48-game forward's presence at the Malcolm Blight Medal presentation should he decide to attend.

However, McGovern is disconnected from the club where only Hugh Greenwood remains from the 'brothers' including Lever and Charlie Cameron who bonded over geographical separation from family on arrival at West Lakes in 2015.

"For Mitch it's pretty plain and simple he just feels that the Adelaide Football club is not the right fit for him," conceded Walker of McGovern, who has the same management as Cameron.

"He has made a decision that he wants to go elsewhere and further his career there."

Mitch McGovern, right, has followed good friend Jake Lever’s lead in seeking his departure from West Lakes. Picture: AAP/Mike Burton
Mitch McGovern, right, has followed good friend Jake Lever’s lead in seeking his departure from West Lakes. Picture: AAP/Mike Burton

Adelaide must seek accord with McGovern in a way it couldn't following Jake Lever's exit to Melbourne last year. Adelaide Head of Football Brett Burton and list manager Justin Reid will rightfully hold out for rich compensation for losing their talented swing-man.

"A deal still needs to be done. I'm sure he has a preferred club that he would like to go to but in the end it is a decision that the club and his management need to come to an agreement," said Walker of McGovern, who turns 24 next month.

Adelaide covets a top end pick from Carlton to land South Australian superstar-in-waiting Jack Lukosius, in return for packaging McGovern and its No. 7 draft pick.

Walker infamously put the heat on McGovern's close friend Lever following the key defender's post 2017 grand final decision join Melbourne.

"I pretty much said to him he's choosing money over success," Walker said on radio at the time of his blunt conversation with Lever.

The club didn't want Lever at its best and fairest count last year after he told them of his plans to leave West Lakes.

Last year's AFL Players Association captain of the year Walker said he'd learned from the Lever experience last year wants to establish the exact origin of McGovern's unrest before Friday night.

"I've got a great relationship with Gov," Walker told Triple M's Roo and Ditts.

"I'm sure he has had his challenges this year but I'd like to find out.

"I've got to have a conversation with him. It's disappointing if we lose a quality player and person in Gov."

McGovern told The Advertiser in February he was "shell-shocked" at the exits of Lever and Cameron, while it's understood he felt aggrieved at pressure to sign with Adelaide last August.

Francou is contemplating a return to teaching if he doesn't continue in the AFL system.

Tate Kaesler will join Gold Coast after a decade in Adelaide's football department.

"Not only are they great football people in their own right but they are also quality individuals who have put in countless hours trying to make the club and people around them better," said Burton of Francou and Kaesler.

Adelaide has appointed physiotherapist and research scientist Steve Saunders to its high performance team in another change to its football set-up.

Saunders devised the KangaTech injury prevention and training program while at North Melbourne.

Saunders has consulted for Adelaide this year but starts in his full-time capacity next month, reporting to general manager high performance Matt Hass.



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