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Cross-town coach poach: Walsh joins Adelaide from Port

Levi wants out, Walsh arrives and more Nat Edwards and Nick Bowen deliver the latest
Ex-Power assistant Phil Walsh has been named Adelaide coach
[If] ... you want to get a bit of steel in your footy club, you've got to stick fat – you've got to stick to your vision
New Adelaide coach Phil Walsh
ADELAIDE has appointed Phil Walsh as its senior coach for the next three years, snaring the former Port Adelaide assistant just a season into his three-year contract with the Power.
 
Walsh was an assistant at Port from 1999-2008 and at West Coast (2009-2013), before rejoining the Power for the 2014 season.
 
The 54-year-old is considered one of the football industry's leading tacticians.
 
He will replace Brenton Sanderson, who was sacked on September 17 after three seasons as coach.
 
Walsh said that after 20 years of coaching in the AFL ranks he felt ready for what he described as his "ultimate test".

He planned to ring every player on Adelaide's list within 48 hours to hear first hand what went wrong in season 2014.

Most importantly though, Walsh said the Crows had to stick to his vision.


"When I went to West Coast, [senior coach John Worsfold] explained the vision he wanted and in my first year we won eight games; the next year, we came last," Walsh said.

"He didn't deviate from that vision one bit. The next year, we played in a preliminary final. [If] you want to get a bit of cement, you want to get a bit of steel in your footy club, you've got to stick fat – you've got to stick to your vision.

"We've got some really great people at this footy club, we've got some great players and I'm looking forward to making sure we all share the vision and stick to it."
 
Crows CEO Andrew Fagan said he had full confidence Walsh was the right person to head the club's football department.

Along with board member Mark Ricciuto, head of football David Noble and chairman Rob Chapman, Fagan met with Walsh after Port's preliminary final loss to Hawthorn.

Fagan said that at several stages of the interview process, he was left certain Walsh was the "standout" man for the job.

"He literally blew us away through multiple stages of that process with his vision for the club, the experience that he's got, where he sees this football club being and how it's going to get there," Fagan said.

 “Our search was thorough and intensive and he emerged as the standout candidate, possessing an astute football mind and team-first approach.

"I'm really confident about the future."
Power chairman David Koch broke news of Walsh's appointment early on Tuesday morning.
 
Koch wished him well in his new senior role and said Adelaide's move to poach from within the ranks of its arch rival was a compliment to its program.
 
"We wish him well to take on the big job; we feel very flattered that the Crows come to us for their senior coach," Koch said on Channel Seven.
 
"It's good testament to our football department.
 
"It's more than one person of course - we've got Kenny Hinkley, 'Nicksy' (Matthew Nicks) and Josh Carr, so it's a very good team."
 
Walsh attended Port's best and fairest presentation on Friday night where winner Robbie Gray described his looming departure as "a massive loss"
 
The 26-year-old club champion said Walsh had one of the best football minds in the industry.
 
Gray endorsed him as a senior coach but said it would hurt to lose him at Alberton.
 
"Walshy has been massive for us this year. He took over our midfield and he takes our leadership meeting and he does quite a bit around the club, so he'd be a massive loss," Gray said.
 
"He's as tactically as good as they come in the AFL. I have no doubt he could take on a head coaching position."

New Adelaide coach Phil Walsh addresses the media upon his appointment. Picture: AFL Media