A brilliant win to open the account for 2017 from Adelaide last weekend. Any win over Geelong, pre season game or not is a good win. You do not want to be heading into the season proper without any winning form either, so it is good to have that monkey off the back too.
There were plenty more positives than last week to take from the win over the Cats, particularly in that third quarter where Adelaide played as good a footy as you will see from any club across the JLT Series. Curtly Hampton again showed he is ready to take a midfield role, Matt Crouch is on the right track to elevate his game to another level and Luke Brown looks to be injury free, which was something he was not in the second half of last season. Rory Atkins was another, who if he can find that sort of form when the real stuff begins will be more than useful. Adelaide even looked fast at times last week with Hampton, Riley Knight, and David Mackay playing more minutes through the middle.
The forward line desperately missed Eddie Betts and co, but that was to be expected. Charlie Cameron did a few nice things up there however. Lock him away on a long-term contract immediately! There is a concern though that the forward line looks pretty shallow once you take a few key players out of that part of the ground.
Don Pyke has said that injured troops Scott Thompson, Paul Seedsman, Brad Crouch, Rory Sloane and Jake Lever are all probably going to be ready or be just about ready for Round One. Can you play them all in the season opener against the Giants? The answer to that is no. You would take a guess and say that Sloane and Lever are locks if they are good to go. The rest start their year in the SANFL. The only issue with that is Adelaide’s first SANFL game is not until April 9. Three AFL games have come and gone by that point. Get that AFL Reserves competition right here, right now. Please.
This week, some consistency within quarters would be great to see. With only a 24 man squad there should be more game time to key personnel as we edge closer to the season opener. Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Mitch McGovern return. Dean Gore misses out through injury and Harry Dear is omitted, having not cemented a spot over the last couple of weeks.
Three more players will be trimmed from the squad before the game begins. Hugh Greenwood, Myles Poholke and perhaps even Troy Menzel would be the main contenders to be omitted. Menzel showed some good signs last week, but he just does not do enough. It is seriously hard to see him getting an opportunity unless injury hurts the Crows this year. I really hope he can prove that to be wrong. Greenwood showed enough promise to prove he can play at the elite level, but his rookie status will count against him this weekend.
Adelaide also play a SANFL trial game on Saturday morning at 10am at Football Park. Kyle Cheney plays his first game for the year in that match joining Alex Keath, Elliot Himmelberg, Paul Hunter, Matthew Signorello, Alex Keath and Ben Jarman in being named to do the same.
The squad of 27 (3 to be cut before the bounce)
Wayne Milera Junior
In other Crows news this week, Adelaide tonight (Thursday night) hold their season launch at the Telstra Plaza outside the Adelaide Oval. It is a worthwhile event, but 5.30pm on a Thursday night is a silly time slot. It clashes with training sessions, people are still working and it is a school night. Last year the event was held on the Friday night and this would have been a far better slot to hold it again.
A weekly injury update would not go astray either from Adelaide. It has been a while since there was a detailed one, with fans left mostly in the dark as to the progress of key players. There has been bits and pieces, but nothing official. Not sure if it is strategic or not, but fans deserve a little better.
Game Info –
Adelaide v Brisbane
Saturday March 11 – 3.40pm (local time) Hickinbotham Oval
The Crow Call will be published every Thursday during the AFL Season. Join in the conversation with me on all things Crows on Twitter @liamthompson1.