Josh Jenkins opens up on Adelaide Crows 2018 pre-season camp after Eddie Betts book
Former Adelaide Crows forward Josh Jenkins has become the latest player to speak about the club’s infamous 2018 pre-season club, joining ex-teammate Eddie Betts.
Jenkins, who left the Crows at the end of 2019 and has since retired from the game, released a lengthy statement about his experience at the Gold Coast-based camp, just days after Betts’ revelations in his biography, The Boy from Boomerang Crescent.
While a number of the 33-year-old’s alleged experiences mirrored those of Betts’, he offered an insight into the months which led up to the camp, calling the sales pitch of the “most intensive” part of the camp a “red flag” for him.
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“I recall us going around the circle and accepting the challenge whilst a couple of players needed to be withdrawn due to injury issues as well as one player being removed because of some personal trauma he’d recently experienced,” Jenkins’ statement to SEN read, in part.
Josh Jenkins and Eddie Betts have both now gone public about their experiences during the pre-season camp (Getty)
“Hearing he was removed because his personal trauma may be too much on top of what we were about to endure had ALARM BELLS ringing inside my head.
“This all smelt terribly and in my heart I knew we were going down a bad path.
“But off the back of a Grand Final loss, when I personally had played so poorly, I only had so much leverage.
“After around 40 minutes of resistance, I agreed to be a part of group one – in part because I knew it was a month or so away and I had time to work back channels to get removed.
“No joy. I could not get out. group one was for me.”
Like Betts did in his autobiography, Jenkins too claims that personal information on his upbringing was used during the ‘harness’ activity at the camp.
Jenkins says he was apprehensive about taking part in the camp when it was first brought up (Getty)
“I specifically asked for assurance pre-camp that nothing regarding my childhood would be raised or used on the camp to spur me on or ‘break me down’,” he said.
“It’s my belief this promise was broken. And I’m not certain I’ll ever forgive those involved for that.
“Nor am I sure anyone has even truly taken responsibility for what went on and why it was allowed to happen.”
Jenkins claims that the club’s welfare manager was “iced out” of discussions and planning for the camp.
“The secrecy and lack of info was astounding,” he said.
“Our welfare manager – who was receiving 90 per cent-plus approval ratings in the AFLPA surveys – was iced out of discussions and planning as well as everything afterward (sic).
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“She fought the good fight for us players and I will always be grateful for that.
“She no longer works at the Crows or in the AFL.”
Jenkins has also called for the release of a report he claims is “damning” from club doctor Marc Cesana, which was allegedly written on the back of his meetings with the players.
“No one has ever acted on that report – which I know is damning,” he said.
“The report must see the light of day. It’s the only example of a medical professional who had day-to-day dealings with the people and players who were involved.
“He was concerned about us.
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“He expressed his disappointment to me about what happened to us, but never disclosed the details of what he’d discussed with other players.
“Hence why the report needs to see the light of day.”
Adelaide issued a response to Jenkins’ lengthy statement with one of its own on Friday evening.
“The club is not in a position to publicly share private medical information relating to its people,” the statement read.
“While under investigation, the club provided the doctor’s report to both the AFL and SafeWork SA.”
A SafeWork SA investigation in 2021 cleared the club of breaching health and safety laws, while an AFL investigation in 2018 determined the Crows had not breached any rules.
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