The fairest and best player in Sunday’s Showdown 39 will be awarded the Phil Walsh Medal in honour of Walsh’s legacy to both Port Adelaide and the Adelaide Crows.
Walsh was a Life Member of Port Adelaide and spent 11 seasons at Alberton as an assistant coach, including the 2004 Premiership campaign.
After spending last season at Port Adelaide as midfield manager he accepted the role as senior coach of the Adelaide Crows in October 2014.
Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said the renaming of the Showdown Medal for Sunday to honour Walsh was a fitting tribute.
“I’m sure Phil would be very proud of this tribute. He absolutely loved both clubs, having spent ten years with us at Alberton and then finding his way to West Lakes as senior coach where he was clearly making a huge impression,” Mr Thomas said.
“I know whichever player is fortunate enough to be awarded this medal will cherish it like no other.
“That player will have to play in a way that Phil demanded. He’ll need to be tough but fair, uncompromising and consistent with his efforts all day and most importantly play a significant role in influencing the outcome of the game.”
Both clubs have agreed that the Phil Walsh Medal will be awarded in Sunday’s Showdown but have made no decision as to how this may look moving forward.
“The best approach often is to pause and allow the grieving process to naturally pass and reflect with greater clarity at a later date,” Mr Thomas said.
“In saying that, it just felt right that we should honour Phil with a medal in his honour this Sunday given the genuine emotion that surrounds this game.
“Both clubs will discuss at the end of the season the most meaningful way to honour his memory.”
Adelaide chief executive Andrew Fagan said it made sense to rename the medal for Sunday’s match.
“Walshy made a significant contribution to our club and his philosophies and values will continue to shape what we do going forward,” Mr Fagan said.
“He achieved the ultimate success with his friends at Alberton and while we reflect and celebrate his life, it is fitting that the Showdown Medal bears his name.
“The man himself used to demand his men get the job done and players from both teams will be striving hard to do just that. Whoever is fortunate to be awarded the medal is sure to hold it in the highest regard.
“Going forward we will work closely with the Power to ensure there is a long-standing and appropriate tribute to Walshy.”
A post-game presentation on the Western wing will incorporate the announcing of the Phil Walsh Medallist along with the winning club’s captain being presented with the traditional Showdown Trophy.
A minute’s applause in memory of Walsh will occur shortly after this presentation.