Josh Jenkins’ statement supports Eddie Betts’ account of Adelaide Crows bonding camp

Former Adelaide striker Josh Jenkins claims leaders of the Crows’ infamous pre-season camp were preying on players with traumatic upbringings and he’s called on a club doctor to issue a report on the matter to the audience.

Jenkins is the first former Crows player to publicly support AFL legend Eddie Betts’ version of events following the publication 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 “stupid” and “shameful”.

“Every player has been scolded with physical abuse and violence so that they are physically and emotionally drained,” Jenkins read in a statement on SEN on Friday.


“This is where I’m happy to try to explain why some rituals were confronting and some were ‘nothing to do here’ and easily out of place for others.

“In my view, boys who had had a more ‘normal’ or traditional upbringing with no real trauma or tragedy in their lives had very little to be pushed and pushed about.”

Jenkins believes he and Betts were targeted after revealing personal information to camp leaders.

“My childhood is a source of shame, pain and pride,” Jenkins said.

“I am proud to be where I am today despite all the potential obstacles that stood in my way as a young person, but I will always have the pain of not having a family to lean on in the difficult times or with whom to celebrate on festive occasions.

“Even as an adult, little things can stay with you. I remember the embarrassment I felt when I had no one to invite into the rooms for my first jumper presentation. No matter how far you go, some things can always bite you.

“I explained that my upbringing had probably led me to be more skeptical and isolated – with a determination to do things my way.

“I also stated that I was proud of the person I was and that my childhood was in no way relevant to anything I did as a professional athlete.

“I’ve said more than once that I don’t want anyone to use or even talk about my upbringing during or after camp. Something that was promised to me – but in my opinion, a promise that has been broken.

“Those – like me, Eddie and maybe others – had been through different things that were rawer when focused – especially when we were assured, basically promised, that nothing like that would come up,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins said he was upset when sensitive information about his childhood and upbringing was brought up in front of his teammates.

“I remember some of the barbs thrown at Eddie – and others – and I remember watching one of our coaches who quickly picked up on my emotions.

“Everyone went through the ritual and on the last morning we had a relaxed chat with the facilitators – that’s also when we were told how to discuss what we had done with our teammates and our family members.

“I clearly remember the role played on what to say to partners and teammates.”

Adelaide went to camp just months after their shock big loss in 2017 to Richmond.

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

Jenkins called on Crows doctor Marc Cesana to release a report he did on the camp.

“There is a report from our club doctor, Marc Cesana, who I sat with countless times, where he assessed my well-being and did the same with others…

“He wrote a long report about his relationship with us as players and as people.

“No one has ever followed up on this report – which I know is damning.

“The report must see the light of day. This is the only example of a medical professional who had daily contact with the people and players involved.

“He was worried about us.

“He expressed his disappointment to me about what happened to us, but never revealed details of what he had discussed with other players.

“That is why the report must see the light of day.

“I remember in a meeting our doctor expressed in front of the whole playgroup and most of the staff that what happened on the camp was totally unacceptable – and I know the report realize it!

“Today is a good day and a really sad day.”

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