An emotional Dom Cassisi has opened up on behalf of the Port Adelaide players as the club comes to grips with the accidental death of 22-year-old teammate John McCarthy off a roof of Las Vegas’s Flamingo Casino.
Cassisi, the club’s captain, had to call for a pause in recordings to compose himself as he became the first player to address the end-of-season tragedy in the US gambling capital, one day after McCarthy’s 10 travelling teammates returned to Adelaide.
His comments came as the 10 are undergoing grief counselling and the football fraternity is in mourning, with flags still flying at half mast around the suburb of Alberton and grieving supporters continuing to add flowers and notes of sympathy to a makeshift shrine outside.
Cassisi said it had only been weeks since he had spoken to McCarthy over a beer about how well he had fitted in at Alberton since crossing from Collingwood, and how much they had appreciated his efforts at his second AFL club.
“John was a ripping guy,” Cassisi said. “I haven’t seen a guy come into our club and just fit in with the boys from day one.
“He had such an infectious personality, always up and about, and you’d walk into the club in the morning and he’d smile from the moment you walked in.
“That’s something you’re definitely going to miss. Regardless of what the circumstances were, whether we’d won, lost or whether he’d played good or bad – he was always there for the group and always trying to be positive.
“It’s been a really, really tough, emotional time. Not only for us but obviously for his family and everybody involved.
“The boys, we were talking last night and it does feel like we’ve known him for years and years.
“He’s only been here for 12 months but that just goes to show you the impact and what sort of bloke he was.
“He really did embrace the club. He just fitted in and forged some really good friendship with the boys.”
Source of the article: news.com.au
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