AFL mourns loss of Dean Bailey

AFL, Sport — By on March 13, 2014 9:00 AM





Adelaide Crows’ assistant coach Dean Bailey has died after a short battle with lung cancer.

Bailey, 47, died Tuesday morning after being hospitalised for most of the past four months.

Adelaide players and staff were called to their West Lakes clubroom on Tuesday morning to receive the news.

In a statement released by Crows’ CEO Steven Trigg, he said what a monumental loss Bailey’s death was for his family and the AFL.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dean’s wife, Caron, and children, Darcy and Mitchell,” said Trigg.

“We’ve lost someone who’s had a profound impact on so many places and so many people – that it just adds to the terrible sadness we’re all feeling at this point in time.”

Trigg spoke of Bailey’s contribution to the Adelaide Crows and the AFL.

“You all know, and I’m sure, deeply respect the contribution that Dean has had on our game, across three states and a number of clubs.

“For our club, Dean very quickly established himself as a really genuine mentor and educator,” he said.

Trigg spoke highly of Bailey’s understanding of both players and the game.

“He was a great developer of players – both as footballers and young men.

“He had an extraordinary capacity to be intuitive about players’ needs and their emotions and about the way we should play the game,” he said.

Bailey had a distinguished career in both the VFL and the AFL.

His professional career began after he was recruited by Essendon from North Ringwood in 1986.

After playing with Essendon until 1992, Bailey spent three years at SANFL club Glenelg Tigers.

Bailey then spent three years coaching in Queensland before returning to Essendon in 1998 as a development coach, helping the club claim the 2000 Premiership.

In 2002 Bailey joined the Port Adelaide Football Club as an assistant coach, a position he held during Port’s 2004 premiership season.

At the end of 2007, Bailey was appointed as the senior coach of Melbourne for the 2008 season.

Bailey coached at Melbourne until Round 19 in the 2011 season, after which he joined the Adelaide Crows as a development coach in October that year.

Adelaide Captain Nathan van Berlo said the team was “shattered” by the loss.

“It was a massive shock for the group this morning.

“He brought a great deal of energy to the group… He had a great mind for football,” van Berlo said.

Crows players and coaches recently shaved their heads in a show of support for Bailey’s cancer battle.

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