Phil Walsh finally put to test with Crows

TWO years ago Phil Walsh was lying in the gutter of a busy street in Cusco, Peru, thinking he was going to die after being sideswiped by a passing car.

With the experience teaching him not to take things for granted, Walsh didn't want to let a chance to tackle the "ultimate test" in AFL footy pass him by.

After serving an apprenticeship spanning two decades, Walsh (pictured) was yesterday appointed senior coach of Adelaide on a three-year deal.

"I'm 54 ... it's probably not going to come around again," he said of the opportunity after serving as a strength and conditioning coach at Geelong (1995-98) and an assistant at Port Adelaide (1999-2008 and 2014) and West Coast (2009-2013).

"This is the first club that has been prepared to find out what Phil Walsh was about."

Renowned for his hard edge and tactical nous, Walsh takes over from Brenton Sanderson, who was sacked last month after the Crows missed the finals for the second year in a row. Sanderson still had two years to run on his contract.

Walsh, who played 120 VFL-AFL games for Collingwood, Richmond and Brisbane after being recruited from Hamilton in Victoria, said his message to his players would be "success doesn't come looking for you, you've got to chase it".

"We're chasing team success and we'll be totally committed to that,'' he said.

Gold Coast remains the only AFL club without a coach as it waits on a decision from 2014 Essendon interim coach Mark Thompson.