Saturday, July 04, 2015

Phil Walsh

Image : Adelaide Football Club

Adelaide is sad. You could feel it yesterday and then you could hear it. Everyone was affected by it and moved. Not just the football community , all of us. We could all see it was a painful, dreadful circumstance for a family to find itself in and the fact that it was a high profile family meant we were all connecting on a very real level about the way in which a happy family can go very wrong. We were talking about it because it had a profound impact. The saddness of it. The finality of it. The awful compexity of it. Phil Walsh was a very well respected and well loved coach and you knew it whether you followed football or not. This was someone who had given his life to the success and building of a sport which everyone loves. In Adelaide there is good rivalry between the Port and Crows supporters. It is the basis of so much fun and so many jokes. Yesterday, it wasn't about that at all.  It was about kinship. Football has lost someone who had strengthened and grown the sport but he had lost his life as a father. A man. The obvious family impact and emotion of it was clear. The club will rally around the family because the club motto is Born to Great Things. Nothing greater than taking this situation into your heart and working a way through it. I feel so so concerned for Phil Walsh's wife , Meredith, and his daughter , Quinn. What has happened to them as human beings is an impossibly tough call and they are having to work their way through the pain and complexity of it. This is a human story and the resolution, as such, will be a playing out of the club motto. The two women need to be cossetted and protected for the time being and will need all the love and help we can muster. In the end it will make us have a really serious conversation about family violence which is going to be painful and difficult but it is one we need to have. The football community will make us honest in fronting up to this. In the meantime, Adelaide cares and Adelaide is sad. Very sad. 

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