Adelaide’s controversial 2018 preseason camp is the reason Mitch McGovern walked from the club to join AFL rivals Carlton.
McGovern’s manager Colin Young has hit back at Crows powerbroker Mark Ricciuto’s comments that the key forward left for more money.
“The reasons Mitch left the Crows was because of the camp and the Adelaide football department and that’s it,” Young told The Age.
Adelaide travelled to the Gold Coast for a preseason camp run by Collective Mind in January 2018, months after the Crows’ 2017 grand-final capitulation to Richmond.
The camp centred on mind training and caused a rift among Adelaide players.
The club cut ties with Collective Mind midway through the 2018 season when then-coach Don Pyke labelled the camp a failure.
Pyke resigned as Crows coach at the end of the 2019 season during an external review into the club headed by Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall.
Adelaide’s football manager Brett Burton and assistant coach Scott Camporeale also exited after the review.
Crows board member Ricciuto maintained he was “comfortable” that McGovern left to Carlton for an $800,000-a-year deal.
Ricciuto also said defender Jake Lever departed after the 2017 grand-final defeat for Melbourne on a deal worth between $800,000 to $850,000 a year.
The Crows great said Lever was only “probably a $500,000 player”.
Ricciuto’s comments come as Adelaide prepare to fly to the Gold Coast on Saturday to play their next three games in Queensland while staying in a hub.
Adelaide’s season under new coach Matthew Nicks has opened with consecutive defeats, including a record 75-point loss to Port Adelaide last Saturday night.
Nicks said he understood the widespread criticism of Adelaide’s meek performance.
“We have work to do, we’re not hiding from the fact that the team’s performance on Saturday night wasn’t at the level,” Nicks told reporters on Thursday.
“So I don’t have an issue with people’s opinions, that’s fine.
“We will continue to go to work and we know we have got to get better.”
The Crows meet Gold Coast on Sunday with Nicks confident captain Rory Sloane will recover from a corked thigh and play.