Adelaide and the wider AFL community was shaken to the core by Phil Walsh’s shocking death, an event which shaped the second half of Adelaide’s season. Walsh’s VFL/AFL career saw him play 122 games, spread across Collingwood, Richmond and Brisbane from 1983-1990.
From 1999 he was an assistant coach at both Port Adelaide and West Coast, and the Crows signed him to a three-year contract ahead of the 2015 season. Sadly, his life ended in tragedy on July 3, aged just 55.
His death occurred two days before Adelaide was set to play Geelong and in respect the game was cancelled. It is the only AFL game to have been cancelled without a replay. Football was briefly forgotten as players and fans rallied together in support.
Assistant coach Scott Camporeale stepped up as interim coach. The Round 16 Showdown proved to be one of the most emotionally charged yet as both clubs came together to remember Walsh’s legacy. It proved to be a classic, Adelaide winning by three-points.
Against the odds Adelaide battled through to seventh and an elimination final against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG. In a tight affair, the Crows snuck home by seven points. There was no fairytale finish, however, as eventual premiers Hawthorn emphatically won the semi-final by 74 points.
After eight seasons at the Club, Adelaide and Patrick Dangerfield had a bittersweet finish to a strong relationship. Recognised as one of the best modern players, Dangerfield was named Club Champion and All-Australian in 2015 ahead of a trade request to Geelong, his hometown team. Adelaide obliged and the superstar moved home for pick No. 10.
After 203-games, stalwart Brent Reilly announced his retirement, as did James Podsiadly.