ADELAIDE spearhead Taylor Walker has hailed the impact of South Warrnambool export James Rahilly in the 42-year-old's first season at West Lakes.
Rahilly, who played 90 games for Geelong before spending 12 years as an assistant and development mentor at Kardinia Park. He shifted to the South Australia-based club at the end of the 2020 season as a forwards coach under Matthew Nicks.
Walker, who has booted 46 goals and is on track to his most productive season since 2015, managed just 15 majors in 2020 but has revived his 12-season career in 2021.
The former skipper said Rahilly was a popular figure and had helped mould Adelaide's young forwards into one of the most promising units in the AFL.
"We love him," Walker said.
"He's been unbelievable for our group. He's a cracking personality and we just love him.
"We know whenever we're having a meeting or training (as forwards) it's going to be good fun but we'll put our head down and work hard."
Walker, who is second in the race for the Coleman Medal, said Rahilly had the knack to "teach but challenge" individuals and had a skill set capable of exacting the best out of youngsters like Riley Thilthorpe, Elliott Himmelberg and Darcy Fogarty.
The 15th-placed Crows will battle the Western Bulldogs at Mars Stadium in Ballarat on Saturday.
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