Crows chairman backs extending Nicks’ coaching contract

Steve Larkin |

Adelaide’s chairman is backing the call to extend coach Matthew Nicks’ contract.
Adelaide’s chairman is backing the call to extend coach Matthew Nicks’ contract.

Adelaide powerbrokers have “no issue” with extending coach Matthew Nicks’ contract despite the club sliding towards a seventh-straight season of missing finals, chairman John Olsen says.

Nicks, after round one, was given a two-year contract extension to remain as head coach until the end of the 2026 season.

Olsen says he remains confident in Nicks despite another season of struggle – the Crows have four wins and languish in 14th spot ahead of Thursday night’s home game against Richmond.

“No issue,” Olsen said on Wednesday of the call to extend Nicks’ tenure.

“We believed at the time, and still do, that Matthew Nicks is the right coach for the Adelaide Football Club currently.

“And we have no issue with extending his contract for the two years.

“We want to give him the best possible chance to bring this young squad up to consistently perform well at AFL level.

“And I hope that you will see a response this Thursday from last week and  then we’ll take each game as it comes over the course of the rest of the season.”

Nicks, in his fifth season at the helm, has the lowest winning percentage – 35.26, with 33 victories from 95 games – of any Crows coach since the club joined the AFL in 1991.

He entered this season amid bullish expectations of returning Adelaide to the finals for the first time since losing the 2017 premiership decider to Richmond.

The Crows narrowly missed last year’s play-offs: the AFL admitted a goal umpiring error in a one-point loss to Sydney in round 23, costing Adelaide a win which would have lifted them to the finals.

“We did say at the start of the season we embrace the (finals) expectation rather than being intimidated by it,” Olsen said.

But Nicks’ extension has come under increasing scrutiny after a poor loss to Hawthorn at the MCG last Saturday when the Crows conceded the initial four goals, and nine of the first 11.

Hawthorn gave Adelaide a drubbing last week. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

“It’s fair to say we were disappointed with the performance of the team at the MCG last week,” Olsen said.

“We’re only halfway through the season so let’s just see how the season unfolds.

“There’s a fair bet that when the (Thursday night) team is announced, it will be the youngest team on the deck this round.

“And with a young team, you’ve got to give them connection, experience, and you do that by games under their belt.

“And so with the young squad we’re developing, the coach and the coaches, assistant coaches, are working through developing the squad.

“And I, the board and the CEO, have confidence in the coach and the assistant coaches going forward.

“We will make a judgment at the end of the season, how things go. There’s a number of games yet to go in the season so we’ll just see how the season unfolds.”