ADELAIDE have gone the early crow. So, too, have Richmond.
Neither have even qualified for the Grand Final yet but both clubs are already bickering over who gets to wear their traditional jumper on the last Saturday in September.
The Crows must still get past Geelong in Friday night’s preliminary final and the Tigers face GWS Giants on Saturday.
FAST FRIENDS: HOW HEATER WON OVER STEVIE J
FINAL FIGHT: CAN TIGERS KEEP UP IN BATTLERS v BILLIONAIRES
ICONIC MOMENTS: HOW ALTERNATE STRIPS WOULD HAVE LOOKED
Not only are the two clubs at risk of taking their focus off the job immediately at hand but they are also providing extra motivation for their rivals this weekend.
“Don’t get ahead of yourselves because you’re not there yet,” Kevin Sheedy told The Daily Telegraph. “The Giants will be lapping it up.”
Sheedy has a foot in both camps — he played 251 games for the Tigers, including three premierships, and was also the Giants’ inaugural coach.
While there has been no public comment from either Richmond or Adelaide, The Daily Telegraph understands both clubs have been in contact with the AFL to argue their case on the issue.
Certainly, AFL boss Gillon McLachlan was across the subject on Fox Footy on Tuesday night, indicating there had been conversations about the teams’ strips.
If there is a clash of traditional jumpers — as Adelaide-Richmond games have been considered for the past three seasons — the AFL boss has suggested a coin toss to decide who gets to wear their preferred strip.
Sheedy said teams should be allowed to wear their traditional jumpers.
“It shouldn’t be an issue at all,” Sheedy said.
“The AFL should make a common sense decision and let Richmond run out in their traditional black with yellow sash and Adelaide run out as the Crows.
“Get out and play footy and get over it. It won’t matter when you run out on the ground and focus on getting the ball and stopping your opponent from getting it.”
GWS coach Leon Cameron was playing a straight bat to the issue, declaring his thoughts weren’t extending past 4.45pm on Saturday and his side’s do-or-die clash against the Tigers.
“No, I’m worried about our game on Saturday,” Cameron said.
“We’re a young team and if we look too far ahead then it will bite us on the bum. We’re not good enough to do that and we’ve never been there before (to a grand final).
“All our focus is on the prelim on Saturday afternoon, if we’re good enough we’ll win the game and if we’re not then it’s simple, you bow out. It’s a simple equation this time of the year.
“We feel as though we’re good enough and if we have to deal with that (guernsey clash) then we’ll deal with that next week.”