Adelaide have missed out on a number of key targets to complete their coaching structure for 2024.
The Crows are trying to fill the hole left by former forwards coach James Rahilly, who departed in October after a three-year stint at the club.
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Two former head coaches have turned down the chance to join Matthew Nicks’ coaching panel in Rahilly’s absence.
According to 7NEWS Adelaide’s Theo Doropoulos, both Ben Rutten and Stuart Dew knocked back Adelaide’s offer, saying they would only move for a senior assistant role. That’s not happening with Scott Burns already occupying that position.
It forces the Crows to go back to market as they search for a forwards coach.
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Rutten is more than happy with his role as an assistant at Richmond following his departure from Essendon, while Dew is reportedly on the radar of the Western Bulldogs after his sacking from the Suns.
Other names “sounded out”, according to Doropoulos, were Swans legend and Nicks’ former teammate, Jude Bolton, and the in-demand Nigel Lappin, the longtime Geelong deputy.
Nigel Lappin has been an assistant at the Cats since 2009. Credit: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images
Melbourne defender backtracks on inflammatory comments
Elsewhere around the league during the busy off-season, Melbourne defender Steven May has backtracked on his inflammatory comments directed at Collingwood during the Demons’ best-and-fairest awards last month.
The star Demon spoke publicly for the first time at the races on Thursday and conceded he could have chosen better words when he threw shade in the direction of their qualifying final rivals.
The 2021 premiers bombed out of the finals in straight sets for a second consecutive season by losing to eventual premiers Collingwood in the qualifying final, before going down to Carlton in a semi-final thriller.
At the best and fairest, May admitted to “tipping a few more back” than he probably should have, and then unleashed on the reigning premiers.
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“I’ve had a few fans come up to me and say, ‘I really appreciate and respect how much you hate losing’, which is awesome, and I do,” he said.
“And I don’t want to talk about them in hindsight. But you know, we lose to Collingwood, and they go on to win the flag, and it f****** hurts watching that because we’re a better team than them, we should have smoked them.
“And to sit there on grand final day and watch them hoist the cup, and get the medals, I’m sitting there going, ‘Jeez, our team’s so much better than these guys’. We should’ve been out there, but we weren’t.
Steven May says he has been surprised at the backlash after suggesting Melbourne was better than Collingwood. Credit: Seven
“We’ve got an unbelievable list, we’ve got an unbelievable coaching group, and the hunger has never been, you know, hungrier. I’m blessed to be a part of this team and (I’m) looking forward to next year.”
Speaking at Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse on Thursday, May said he was surprised by the backlash from his comments.
“You want to have that belief and I’m a bit like that,” he said.
“I wasn’t having an interview at the time with all you guys, I was speaking to our Melbourne members and my teammates.
“Probably could have chosen some better words, but the backlash was pretty crazy considering those guys all got a medal around their neck and are loving life and I’m in Japan after going out in straight sets.”
But there appears to be no bad blood with the Collingwood players with premiership forward Beau McCreery joining May and some of the other Demons players in the same marquee on Thursday.
The Demons bowed out of the finals in straight sets. Credit: Getty Images
“Nah that doesn’t bother me too much at all to be honest,” McCreery said of May’s comments.
Melbourne captain Max Gawn also addressed the club’s culture after a nightmare two months.
Joel Smith was provisionally suspended for testing positive to cocaine after the Demons’ win over Hawthorn in Round 23, while the professionalism of superstar midfielder Clayton Oliver has been brought into question as well.
Oliver was hospitalised last month after suffering a seizure that resulted in a head injury.
“I feel like with adversity hopefully we can get through stuff like this,” Gawn said.
“Obviously I agree we got to have some conversations. Our culture in a way has been relatively successful in the last three or four years, but there is bits that’s happened.
“We need to have a conversation, we need to talk about it and make sure we can all get on the straight and narrow, and hopefully with this adversity comes a fair bit of greatness.”
– With Ben Sutton
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