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Crows camp preyed on trauma: Josh Jenkins

3 minute read

Former Adelaide AFL forward Josh Jenkins has given a disturbing account of the Crows' infamous camp, backing up Eddie Betts' claims in his autobiography.

JOSH JENKINS. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Former Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins claims leaders of the Crows' infamous pre-season camp preyed on players with traumatic upbringings.

Jenkins is the first former Crows player to publicly back up AFL legend Eddie Betts' version of events after the release of his autobiography this week.

The 33-year-old, who retired last year after a stint with Geelong, described the 2018 camp on the Gold Coast as "dumb" and "disgraceful".

"My childhood is a source of shame, pain and pride," Jenkins read out in a statement on SEN on Friday.

"I am proud I am where I am today despite any potential hurdles thrown my way as a young person, but I will always have the pain of not having a family to lean on in tough times or to celebrate with on celebratory occasions.

"Each player was scolded with abuse and physicality so they'd be physically and emotionally worn out.

"In my view, the boys who had had a more 'normal' or traditional upbringing without any real trauma or tragedy in their lives had very little to be poked and prodded about."

Jenkins believes he and Betts were targeted due to the nature of the personal information they revealed to the camp's leaders.

"Those - like me, Eddie and perhaps others - had experienced different things that were more raw when focused on - especially when we'd been assured, essentially promised, nothing like this would be raised," Jenkins said.

"I recall some of the barbs thrown at Eddie - and others - and recall glaring at one of our coaches who quickly picked up my emotions.

"Everyone went through the ritual and on the last morning, we had a relaxed discussion with the facilitators - which is also when we were told how to discuss what we'd done with our teammates and family members.

"I distinctly recall the role playing on what to say to partners and teammates."

Adelaide went on the camp just months after their shock 2017 grand final loss against Richmond.

The Crows have not played finals since and are going through a long rebuild under coach Matthew Nicks, who arrived at the club ahead of the 2020 season.

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