Burgess leaves AFL premiers to join the Crows

Highly respected fitness coach Darren Burgess has joined the Adelaide Crows after spending two seasons with this year’s premiers Melbourne.

Burgess made a name for himself in the AFL with two stints at Port Adelaide, after working in senior high-performance roles at Premier League clubs Liverpool and Arsenal, as well as working with the Socceroos.

The Demons were fully supportive of Burgess’s move to the Crows, as he returns home to South Australia to be closer to family.

“Burgo (Burgess) has made a strong contribution to our football club over the past two years,” GM of AFL football performance Alan Richardson said.

“He has led a very strong team and has continually shared his knowledge, experience, and passion with the wider group.

“We thank him immensely for his contribution and wish him all the best back in Adelaide.”

Darren Burgess (left) with Melbourne head coach Simon Goodwin during the 2021 season.(

Getty: Michael Willson


Burgess will have oversight across Adelaide’s AFL and AFLW programs as the club’s high-performance manager. 

Crows head of football Adam Kelly said Burgess’s arrival would take their high-performance team to new heights.

“He has worked with elite sporting teams both in Australia and abroad for nearly two decades and has a thorough understanding of what is required for athletes to prepare and perform at a consistently high level.

“His arrival further strengthens our talented and hard-working high-performance team.”

AFL fitness coach talking with a player during training
Darren Burgess (right) with Demons premiership midfielder Jack Viney.(

Getty: Quinn Rooney


Burgess previously worked with Crows coach Matthew Nicks at Port Adelaide, and looked forward to the pair reuniting.

“I have watched the Crows embark on their list rebuild from afar and the progress and performances have been encouraging,” Burgess said.

“It is great to reunite with Matthew Nicks, who I have previously worked with when he was a player at the Swans and again as an assistant coach at Port, and I look forward to doing my bit to help him and the club achieve success.

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