AFL 2023 Grand final: Collingwood’s Taylor Adams in shattering premiership medal reality

Taylor Adams’ cruel reality has prompted renewed debate about the AFL’s premiership medal policy.

The Collingwood star and teammate Dan McStay are among this year’s saddest stories heading into the Magpies’ Grand Final clash with the Brisbane Lions.

Adams was officially ruled out by the Magpies on Wednesday as a result of ongoing hamstring issues. The vice-captain first suffered a minor hamstring strain during the club’s match simulation session following their qualifying final win over Melbourne.

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Adams played in 23 games for the Magpies this season, but will not receive a premiership medal under the AFL’s controversial policy.

While the NFL and NBA hand out championship rings to all players included on a team’s roster, the AFL and NRL have always limited the amount of rings and medals distributed to those that take the field on match day.

Richmond legend Trent Cotchin on Wednesday night advocated for all players to receive premiership medals and told Channel 7’s Talking Finals the unlucky players would not feel awkward about getting medals if they didn’t play in the grand final.

“I definitely think they should. It takes a village to win one and everyone should be recognised for the contribution,” he said.

“I think it’s not to put on show. It’s to know that you contributed to that premiership.”

It is particularly devastating for Adams, who is widely reported to be among the most popular players inside the club’s dressing room.

Footy journalist Jay Clark said at the time of Adams’ injury earlier this month it would be “horrific” for the 30-year-old to miss the grand final.

“That is heartbreaking for Taylor Adams,” he said on Triple M’s Dead Set Legends.

“It’s shattering. He loves his footy. This would be absolutely devastating for him.”

Adams also suffered a groin tear that prematurely ended his 2022 finals campaign last season.

Adams only lasted 30 minutes during the club’s open session at Olympic Park on Wednesday, heading indoors and speaking to fitness staff after taking a shot at goal.

General Manager of Football Graham Wright expressed the Club’s disappointment in the prognosis.

“Unfortunate news for Taylor Adams who experienced hamstring awareness during training today which will see him miss the Grand Final,” Wright said.

“Taylor is an ultimate professional and a true leader both on and off the field and we will wrap our arms around him and continue to support him this week.

“Taylor was incredibly eager to be out there with his teammates and left no stone unturned in his rehabilitation and recovery and we all share in his disappointment.”

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