Don Pyke has put his name to a three-year contract extension, which will have him with the Adelaide Crows for some time to come.
He is now linked to the club through 2021.
Pyke has coached the Crows to two consecutive finals appearances since he took charge in 2016. During those two years, the Crows’ offense consistently put up big numbers during the home-and-away season, such that they led the ladder in percentage by an almost ludicrous gap, but in the Grand Final last year, Pyke’s men could muster only 60 points in an upset loss to the Richmond Tigers.
All that information means is that if Pyke is to see the end of his three-year-deal, he had better find a way to carry his home-and-away success into the final month of the season.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to coach at such a proud Club like the Crows, and I am grateful to continue in my role,” Pyke said.
Round 1 of the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership competition will give Pyke an even 50 games as head of the Crows’ seniors.
The Crows also made the finals in 2015, before Pyke took over. They won 13 and lost 9 in home-and-away play, finished seventh on the ladder and beat the Western Bulldogs in qualifying final, before being smashed by the Hawthorn Hawks in the semifinal.
Which is just to say that Pyke was not handed a complete rebuild.
Something that may contribute to Pyke’s longevity as coach and the Crows’ success in 2018 is that during the home-and-away fixture this season upcoming, the Crows have only to play twice at MCG. They do not have to play at their Waterloo until a Round 13 match with the Hawks, but they will have to reprise their Grand Final meeting with the Tigers in Round 16.
There will be an opportunity for the Crows to prove themselves the equal of the 2017 premiers when they meet the Tigers in Round 2 in the friendlier confines of the Adelaide Oval.