AAP AFL

I don’t feel welcome at Crows: McLeod

By AAP Newswire

Adelaide great Andrew McLeod says he doesn't feel comfortable walking back into his AFL club.

McLeod, who won Norm Smith medals as best-afield in the Crows' two premierships, says he and some of his retired teammates don't feel welcome at the club.

"I'm one of those guys that if you asked me if I felt comfortable walking back into the football club, I would say no," McLeod said on a podcast he co-hosts with retired basketballer Brett Maher.

"I don't walk into the changerooms. It's one of those things, and I have had this conversation with a lot of my old teammates, is that it's not a place that you feel welcomed."

McLeod is Adelaide's games-record holder, playing 340 matches in a decorated career highlighted by the 1997-98 premierships and winning three club champion awards.

"You see lots of guys go back to their footy clubs and feel welcomed ... for me, the Crows doesn't really have that vibe," he said on the Bunji and Brettster podcast.

"It doesn't have that vibe where it feels like you're really welcome there.

"And I have done some work there, right, with my (indigenous) programs and what-not, but it's not a place that you feel like it embraces you as a past player."

McLeod is also a current assistant coach of the Crows' AFLW team. He is among club staff stood down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Crows chairman Rob Chapman has sought out McLeod to discuss the comments but is yet to speak to the AFL hall of famer.

"I love Andrew, we all do," Chapman told Triple M radio.

"His actions don't match the words that I have seen attributed to him.

"We have spoken to a lot of players today and they don't quite get it.

"Look, I'm glad we're confronting it because we have got to own what has transpired and I'm sure we will get to the bottom of that."

During his playing career, McLeod was critical of Crows hierarchy for a perceived lack of support during his falling-out with long-term teammate Tyson Edwards.

The pair didn't speak to each other off-field for years from 2005 in a feud which embroiled their wives and tennis star Lleyton Hewitt, a Crows fan.

Hewitt, a long-time No.1 ticket-holder at the Crows, had been a friend of McLeod until the tennis champion released a DVD containing footage of the pair at indigenous sacred sites.

McLeod launched legal action over the use of the footage and Edwards' wife Mandy supported Hewitt in affidavit in a matter ultimately settled confidentially out-of-court.

"I said to Tyson, 'why would you put a friendship that you and I have had for over 10 years in jeopardy and why would Mandy go into court against us and talk about something she knows nothing about?','' McLeod wrote in his biography, Black Crow.

At Adelaide's 2006 club champion awards, Mandy Edwards threw a drink at McLeod's wife, Rachael.

"Things got really ugly,'' Mrs McLeod said in the book.

The McLeods expected Crows officials to respond to widespread publicity over that incident but they remained silent, angering the five-time All Australian.