Crows seething over Davis loss
Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011
ADELAIDE - A seething Adelaide blamed a “ridiculously inflated” AFL player market for losing emerging defender Phil Davis to Greater Western Sydney.
Davis, 20, left Adelaide fuming by agreeing to join GWS on a wage understood to be triple what he was receiving at the Crows.
The 18-gamer walked out of the Crows yesterday carrying no guilt.
“That is just how the system works these days,” Davis told reporters in Adelaide.
GWS coach Kevin Sheedy also made no apologies for luring Davis as the Giants’ first signing from a rival AFL club.
“Our job is to go and find players anywhere in Australia, get the best ones we can ... no beg pardons, that’s it. We are there to build a footy club,” Sheedy told reporters in Melbourne.
Davis, who refused to detail the length of his contract or the money involved, said he was unaware of any other GWS signings, amid speculation linking the likes of Melbourne midfielder Tom Scully to the Giants.
“I have heard the rumours like everyone else ... if they are true, I’m very excited,” he said.
Melbourne’s caretaker coach Todd Viney said his club would be angered if Scully followed Davis to the Giants.
“We would be devastated and upset,” Viney told reporters in Melbourne.
Davis conceded money was a factor in his defection, which shattered his Crows team-mates and club hierarchy.
“Welcome to the new world of AFL footy,” Crows football operations manager Phil Harper told reporters.
“Not only do these things happen, but we live in now a ridiculously-inflated market for AFL players.”
Harper said the Crows were “bloody disappointed” at losing Davis, recruited with pick 10 in the 2008 draft.
“Once we found out what we were up against with Phil, we put an offer together ... that was way, way, way over any offer to a 20-game player in the history of this football club,” Harper said.
“It still wasn’t in the ball park.”
Harper, rating Davis’ departure as a bigger blow than losing All Australian defender Nathan Bock to Gold Coast last year, said it would be hypocritical to cry foul of concessions gifted to the fledgling entities.
“We agreed to the new teams coming in, we agreed to the rules, and so now we have to cop it,” Harper said.
“Did we think we would be the hardest hit of all the AFL clubs? Probably not. But as it turns out, we are.”
Davis, recovering from a shoulder reconstruction, was told to immediately clean out his locker at the Crows after informing them of his decision.
“He’s the enemy now and will be treated as such,” Harper said.
Sheedy hoped other young players would follow Davis to the Giants.
“Any player that wants to come to play with the Giants in Greater Western Sydney, I’m rapt in, because that means we’ve hit a raw nerve, that players really want to come,” Sheedy said.
GWS enter the competition next year and can recruit a maximum of one uncontracted player from each of the other 17 clubs over the next two seasons. AAP