Physical performance boss departs Essendon

Essendon's physical performance boss Justin Crow will leave at the end of the season with the club saying there was a mutual decision to part ways.

The announcement was made with just two games remaining in the home-and-away season and the Bombers still a big chance of playing in September.

A statement released by the club on Tuesday afternoon said Crow would be looking at other opportunities within the AFL and in other sports.

“Coming to the end of my ninth season at Essendon, I believe that now is the right time for me to find my next challenge,” Crow said.

“In my time at Essendon I am proud of how we steered this group of players through challenging times, the investment we have made into the women’s football program and also the growth and development of those players who have shared this journey with me.

“I would like to thank the whole club for their support of me over the preceding years.”

Dan Richardson, Essendon's head of football, was full of praise for Crow.

“Justin has had a tremendous impact on our football club, and has led a very dedicated high-performance team during his tenure at the club, particularly through some challenging circumstances,” Richardson said in a statement.

“He is a man of integrity and high values, and has made a fantastic contribution to the club in his time here. We wish Justin and his family the very best for their future endeavours.”

The "challenging circumstances" that Richardson speaks of are sure to involve the club's injury crisis, with several key players unavailable.

Four-time leading goal-kicker and former All-Australian full forward Joe Daniher has managed only 11 games in two years after consistent problems with groin injuries.

Daniher met Sydney chief executive Tom Harley at his house in Balmain recently, prompting speculation that he could be considering a move north.

Crow's departure represents more change at Tullamarine, with highly-sort-after Richmond senior assistant Blake Caracella set to join the coaching panel at the end of the season.

The Bombers have signed young ruckman Sam Draper to a four-year contract extension. Draper has been sidelined since injuring his knee in May.

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