TAYLOR Walker won't be giving Brad Crouch a Jake Lever-style send-off should he leave the Crows at the end of the season.
In the first of a series of big-name player interviews in Toe to Toe with Damo, a reflective Walker said his late 2017 spray on Lever, where he accused his former teammate of "choosing money over success" in exiting for Melbourne, was, in hindsight, wrong.
>> WATCH THE FULL TAYLOR WALKER INTERVIEW IN THE PLAYER BELOW
"I've certainly been caught out in the industry wearing my heart on my sleeve probably too much," Walker told AFL.com.au.
"An example was when Jake Lever left. I was vocal about it, because I'm passionate, I'm loyal, I want people to stay at my footy club.
"It wasn't a personal attack at Jake, it was more about how much I loved him and wanted him to stay.
"It didn't fall that way, and I've learnt from that. The industry is that people will come and go. Then I thought, 's--t, how do I put myself in Jake's shoes'? If there was a Broken Hill team and there was an opportunity for me to go back home, would I do it, and I thought I probably would, with my family and my best mates there.
"These things happen. One day I will have a beer with him and explain exactly what I meant. I chat to him here and there, hopefully he understands. It probably didn't come across the way it should have. Deep down, where it came from, I'm black and white. People who really know me know that I am black and white, say it how it is. I'd rather be like that than be grey, and not understand where people sit and fit with me."
With teammate and close friend Brad Crouch a free agent at the end of the 2020 season, Walker said he had learnt from the Lever period.
"Brad is one of my best mates, he knows how I feel, but in saying that, I've learnt … it is up to Brad," Walker said. "I'm not going to tell him what to do. It is up to Brad to decide where he thinks it is best for his future.
"Everything is on the table for him. The footy club is there to support him. If he stays, I'd love that. If he doesn’t stay, that's up to him. I won't give him a send-off. I've learnt."
In his Toe to Toe with Damo interview, Walker also revealed:
- HE spent last September giving deep consideration to leaving the Crows, such was his frustration with the club's failures and the public scrutiny of the two seasons which followed the 2017 Grand Final loss to Richmond;
- PERSONAL regrets in how the Crows failed to properly address the 2017 Grand Final loss, and how that left him and teammates with "s--t on the liver";
- HIS intended time remaining in the game;
- THE birth of his son late last year had instantly changed him as a person;
- A BEMUSED reaction to predictions of footy fans of a third consecutive season without finals for the Crows.