Adelaide captain Nathan van Berlo says the entire Crows playing list support the sacking of Brenton Sanderson as coach of the AFL club.
Adelaide captain Nathan van Berlo has moved to allay fears of a splintered playing group at the AFL club in the wake of the sudden sacking of coach Brenton Sanderson.
Van Berlo says all Crows players support the decision to axe Sanderson.
Sanderson was sacked on Wednesday, prompting denials from the club that star players Taylor Walker, Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane threatened to walk out if the coach remained.
Van Berlo distanced players from Sanderson’s unexpected removal, saying it was entirely a board decision.
“Myself and the rest of the leadership group over the last couple of days have touched base with every player on our list,” van Berlo said in a video posted on Adelaide’s website on Friday,
“And as a group, as a collective, we are 100 per cent united behind this board decision.
“I guess ultimately at the end of the day we are in a performance-based industry.
“And over the last two years our results haven’t been up to expectations … of ourselves internally and certainly the results our fans expect of us.
“At the end of the day, the board is put in place to make decisions in the best interest of the footy club and at times these tough decisions have to be made.”
Van Berlo’s statement comes as the Crows, who missed the finals in the past two seasons, begin searching for new coach.
But the field of candidates was dwindling with ex West Coast coach John Worsfold and former Brisbane coach Michael Voss joining Essendon’s Mark Thompson in saying they had no interest in the job.
The Crows also lost another potential contender when their former captain Simon Goodwin joined Melbourne as a senior assistant coach for the next two years before taking Paul Roos’ position as head coach at the Demons.
Sanderson’s axing sent shivers down the spine of his close friend, Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley, who said it was evidence of AFL being a “brutal industry”.
“It’s a tough industry to work in,” Hinkley told reporters on Friday.
“As a coach, we all say that we go in knowing that the end can be what it is. But it doesn’t make it right in my view.”
Hinkley and Sanderson struck a friendship when both were players and then assistant coaches at Geelong.
“I gave him a call, just one of support,” Hinkley said.
“And one that I was considerate of his family and himself and how they must be feeling at that point in time.
“And I know he would have been doing his absolute best for that footy club.”