2022 Team Preview – Adelaide Crows

Written by JimmyDee on February 9 2022


A very inconsistent 2021 for a rebuilding side would not normally place much relevance on the Crows as SuperCoach options, especially with only two players averaging over the ton in last year’s campaign (Laird & Keays).

However, some mixed results with some tight losses during the year, and some meritorious wins (7), shows that there is some ticker in the team and some improvement around the corner for some of the second tier members of the squad. Nicksy has a whole team buy in and if the game plan ticks, there may be some big results and big SuperCoach scores for players as
a consequence.

A rebuilding team with a lot of youngsters getting guernseys, will generally slow down as the season extends, but the word from my man at West Lakes
is that the fitness levels will be much improved under Burgo and those younger bodies will flourish and a net improvement looms for the team despite many pundits placing them at the bottom of the ladder come season’s end. That said;


Lock and Load:  Jordan Dawson ($550 300) finished the year with the  Swannies mids with a 114 average from the last nine. Training with the
Crow mids and match simming on a wing, expect him to be one of the
new DDPs sooner rather than later. This plus his disposal efficiency going forward, (Nicks wants him delivering the pill to the forwards), and his last three game average of 116 against round 1 opponent Freo has him locked in my starting team.

Feeling Lucky:  Tom Doedee ($464 700) can score really well when playing the interceptor role across half back. Seven tons and an average of 85 last year doesn’t scream “pick me”, nor does Jake Kelly’s exit help define his role so it’s a no for me. Wayne Milera ($271 100) Averaged 96 in 2019 before injury and averaged 83 in his only two games of 2020. After a long rehab and specialised training, he is back on the track into full contact match sim. I see him distributing off half back and we all know how SC friendly that role is. I’m feeling lucky!

Money Maker:  Mitchell Hinge ($180 900). Whilst a little pricey for this category, I have a feeling? Scored a ton against the Swans in his only game for the Lions, and looked the goods in round 1 last season against Geelong before dislocating his shoulder, but not before scoring 31 points in less than a half. Training as a def/mid and has a few preseasons under the belt. That maturity sees him in my sights, and Nicksy’s, who sees him as someone who can play on tall and smalls. Hinge was the only name Nicks mentioned when asked about the Jake Kelly void. If he gets a gig in R 1, I might be on.


Lock and Load: Rory Laird ($632 600) lost DPP but don’t let that deter you, will be a top ten mid again. Finished the year with a massive 149 (one of ten scores of 120+) to average 116 following seasons of 97 and 105 as a defender. Lot of competition for those top three or four premo spots, but if we’re talking POD, have a crack.

Feeling Lucky:  Mat Crouch ($482 000) comes in heavily discounted for a player of his scoring potential. Missed last five of 2020 and all 2021 with ongoing groin issues. However has joined in the crows full match sim and is feeling fine. Averaged 128 post bye before injury in 2020, and has averaged a minimum of 102 since 2017. If he holds up pre season, I’m sure there are plenty who will be tempted to feel lucky at that price. Harry Schoenberg ($390,200). Finished the season with 115 against North, following scores
of 97/95/96 in the lead up as a result of more CBAs. Expect him to increase that CBA percentage in his third (early breakout) year and increase his average from 72 to over 90 due to the contested nature of his work and his tackle count.

Money Makers: Who knows which of these kids will get constant game
time, but Nicksy is bound to give them a crack at some stage. Zac Taylor ($117 300) racked up huge numbers as a junior and good ones in limited senior appearances. The Crows hierarchy was stoked to snaffle him so late in the draft so keep him on a watch when he gets selected, because he will !


Only two listed, ROB ($520 600) and Strachan ($273 500). ROB lowered
his average by 10 points to 96 with some really inconsistent scoring as exampled by four tons and four under 60 in the first eight games. I don’t expect that to be the case this year and hope to see his average over 100 again. Definitely in the “feeling lucky” bracket. Strachan will only play
when ROB is not despite averaging 100 in ROB’s injury period at the
end of the season.


Not much to see here! Tex gone for the first three and the rest are pretty much raw or irrelevant. Riley Thilthorpe can be something but big blokes generally don’t just emerge in year two, and Ned McHenry has apparently taken a step up pre season, and is leading most training index scores, especially running. This new found zest may lift team mates around him
but may not be a factor in lifting his own average far enough out of the 50s to justify nearly 300k. Caveat, I do think he’ll be a big improver.

Money Makers:  Joshua Rachelle ($184 800, MID/FWD) If the hype of a number six pick and the wraps on his junior numbers are not enough, DPP should help sway you. My guy says he is exciting the group and coaches, and earning early respect with work ethic and buy in to the culture. Has added considerable bulk since the draft which should help him win an elusive round one spot. I’m also told he will play mainly forward but will get more and more stints in the midfield as he progresses. Won’t necessarily score big numbers regularly, but as an impact player will no doubt rack up useful scores. Could be the X factor the Crows have lacked for a while and should play early, and get fair shake at it.



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7 thoughts on “2022 Team Preview – Adelaide Crows”

  1. Good article, I like your writing style. You’ve given me some food for thought – I was dithering over Dawson, but had not considered Milera seriously. Now I am.


  2. Dawson, Milera and Hinge, all great choices, will probably be seeing the ball a lot more than anyone else…….


  3. Dawson is someone I really want to pick. Any concerns his scoring may be impacted by being in a worse team (I.e. less disposals or time on the ball to pick a man)?

    I feel Laird will be similar to Macrae a few years ago with losing dual status, high disposals and great efficiency, but being mid only will put plenty off (even though similar to Macrae people ignore what he’s doing on the field). Great POD option.


    1. Dawson is a bit of a catch 22 BBB. If he was playing half back, he’d be a double “lock & load”. Playing wing and throwing in midfield rotations, he’s still a “lock & load”. If he plays solely wing (which I don’t think happens) he will be a little more reliant on the back half using him as a link to the forwards. However the back half has some experienced distributers, think Smith, Milera & Brown coupled with the skills of Sloane, Laird and Sholl who all get back regularly, so he will get plenty of chances. If he gets it, his efficiency going inside the arc will boost his points.

      If you are a bit unsure, play safe and watch his role during the practice series. They play a full internal trial the week before the practice match against the Lions, and then the series game against Port. Those two are strong sides so a good indicator of what’s to come I reckon.


  4. Good work Jimmy! Laird will be the uber premium that nobody picks this year (along with perennial favourite in that category, Jarryd Lyons).

    I like Mitch Hinge’s game, hopefully he stays on the park this year.


  5. Thanks Jimmy

    Great analysis . I really like Dawson even without fully knowing his role yet. His disposal and contested marking are elite, and I think he will have to see some midfield time. He’s my D2 atm.

    I will need to see a fit and firing Milera before I make room for him at that price. I currently have K Coleman at D4 ( I love his D/F DPP. ) If Milera shows enough pre season I may move Coleman forward.

    Hinge is someone I hadn’t really considered. If he’s taking Kelly’s spot you would expect more a lock down role don’t you think ?

    Thanks again for a fantastic Preview.


  6. Excellent write up, Jim.

    Had Dawson stayed at the Swans, I’d have picked him in a heartbeat. Worried now that the Crows don’t generate enough outside ball. Also one of the worst D50 rebounding and turnover teams, so he won’t have great service as a HB to wing linkman. Like you said, will want a role with a substantial MID dimension.

    Preseason matches will definitely shed some light.

    On Laird, he’s just going to end up Top 8 on consistency. As he builds his tank (which was an issue transitioning from HB to inside MID), he can probably push 120 flat. Soft draw, not a tagging target, just finds heaps of it.

    Great stuff, Jim.



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