Team Preview – Adelaide Crows

Written by JimmyDee on February 10 2021

Despite being last season’s cellar dwellers, there are still Supercoach relevant options at the Crows at all gradients of the salary scale. In defence we probably have more to ponder than the rest of the field, and given predicted form, this is the area of the ground likely to host much of the pill. Consider the following options:

Rory Laird (D/M) $564,800. On the expensive side but with good reason. Lairdy has a career ave of 92, 102 over the past four years and a 105 last year following a switch to midfield resulting in The Crows avoiding a winless season and Lairdy averaging 117 over the last five games.

No need to itemise stats as he racks them up and has played at least twenty games a season over the last four. With that DPP, should be a lock.

Tom Doedee (D) $457,900 Averaged 85 in the nine games last year, with five of them tons. Downside to this was two scores in the 30’s which can be role dependent as Tommy needs to be the intercepting defender to score his best. A lot will depend on the Crow’s structure, and who replaces Hartigan as a lock down type. Hamstring injuries last year are related to knee reco so could be worth a wait and see approach.

At his best, worth a shot at that price as he is capable of a 90+ average. Question is will that be enough to justify a spot in your starting side.

Brodie Smith (D/M) 4438,200 To steal a phrase from Chillo (and Clint),
are you feely lucky? Averaged 82  from 16 games last year, and 89 from
all 22 in 2019 after the knee in the 2017 final. In the 40 games since the comeback, Brodies has notched up eleven tons with a ceiling of 129 against
both the Giants and Dons. Flip side is six scores of 50 or less.

On his day he is brilliant, and price and DPP may sound attractive,
but he needs to be distributing the pill, gaining yards and having score involvements to be worth the punt. Check out whether he is running of half back or in the mids. Currently, this is not defined for the season coming.

Lachlan Sholl (D/M) $343,200 Coming off a first year average of just 64, Lachy bulked up and sped up off season and talk is vibrant around his potential this year. 2nd year blues should be less of a worry as he stood out at the end of his first SANFL season to set up last year’s debut. He averaged 23 disposals, 7 intercepts and hit the target 76% effectively over the last month. His finish to last season showed great glimpses with a ton against Carlton in a winning side and 84 against a rampant Tigers in a loss.

Awkward price for a defender, but given he will be spending plenty of time running up and down the wing collecting leather and distributing by foot effectively, could well be a bargain. I’ll be watching pre season closely.

Wayne Milera Jnr (D) $312,200 Touted as one of the value picks in defence due to the talk of “impending midfield time”. Only two games in 2020 for an 83 average, and his 2019 campaign was a bit hot and cold with a 74 average due to inconsistent role and Crows sucking. This include two tons and five scores of 50 or less. However, at the back end of 2018 with a defined role he pulled out a 95 average due to maintaining three intercepts and an 84% disposal efficiency weighted heavily by foot.

I’ll be watching his role pre season, (although I don’t mind him off half back either), and if he is in the guts getting plenty, he’ll be in my side.

Cheapies who could feature and are getting great revues from inside the ranks are Lachlan Gollant (D/M) $123,900 who has added muscle and a PB in the time trial; and Will Hamill (D) $210,900 who debuted modestly last year with a 39 average, but did snatch a 96 against the Dons. Word at West Lakes is he’s likely to given more licence to take it on this year.

Midfielders to consider?

Matt Crouch $594,000 110.7 average last year and 107 average over the past four years make him a viable consistent option having only missed eight games over the past five seasons. Without brother Brad the heavy lifting will be up to Matt which I believe will increase his scoring. He has increased his disposal by foot more recently (although still only 39%) which should also help. After being dumped by Knicksy last year, Matt bounced back to average 117 for the rest of the season and you’d take that any time.
From 16 games he snatched 11 tons with a season high of 162 v the Hawks.

Last year ranked 5th in total possessions (40% contested), clearance ability and 5 tackles per game bulk up his score and I’m seeing him as a top 10 mid so pick him with confidence.

Rory Sloane $471,900 88 average last year vs career 102, injury and sucking Crows contributed to a year to sweep under the rug. Sloane will be back (nearly) as strong as ever, is fit and training well and ready for the fight this year. Sloaney is a leader by example, a tackling machine (over 4 per game), high tally of one percenters, on the positive side of frees and hits the scoreboard at the right time, which are all great SC score receives. If you want an honest and reliable cheapie who will score a ton for you at M8 by season’s end, you could take worse chances.

Jackson Hately $310,300. Apart from his price, nothing screams “pick me” based on his 13 game career at GWS with only one ton and a stop start selection history. What we are all hoping is that he signed on for a full time inside mid role and a chance to have a consistent crack for a change.

I can’t get too much info from within the ranks other than he is fitting
in and training well as an inside mid. My feeling is he will relish the challenge and be an integral part of a new look midfield and score well enough to be a stepping stone at some stage, but will score well enough
to be solid cover if you need time to sort your team. Let’s face it, we’re all going to need a couple of cheapies and mature mids are the way to go.
I’ve got him at this stage.

Cheapies likely to debut at some stage include Luke Pedlar $162,300, and Sam Berry $117,300. Both very strong bodied already with Berry reportedly training and match simming well above expectations, with tackling a stand out. Pedlar was taken at pick 10 for a reason. The Crows passed over many more hyped mids in the draft to snaffle him (think Danger back when)
so you’s expect him to play at some stage. Look for Brayden Cook (F/M) $117,300 to provide some X factor as a downgrade option sometime as well.

In the Ruck!

For a serious option to the Grawndy set and forget, I reckon you could
do worse than Reilly O’Brien $570,800 Ruck. Coming into his prime and averaging over 100 for the last two years, ROB is more of a contested player than a HTA kind of guy. He averaged nearly 4 marks per game, mostly contested,  4 tackles, 14 possessions and 27 hitouts, and to highlight his scoring potential around the ground, gained 15 plus possessions six times.

ROB played every game, scored over 140 three times, 50 once (against Big Max), every other score was above 82. Great alternative to the big two and
to save some cash for elsewhere.

Look for Riley Thilthorpe, the number two pick overall and a rare $202,800 (R/F) to play plenty of games this year. My belief is he may not start round
one as I think Tex still gets a Guernsey early until The Fog is up and about independently, plus they may continue to manage his game time due
to the groin problems that cut short his SANFL season last year. Grab him when selected if you have the cash as he is a capable ruckman who is a genuine goal kicker. His highlights reel shows many classy HTAs and strong marks that finished in goals at senior level.

As for forwards, not much to see here!! The big exception is mature aged James Rowe $117300, and we love mature aged rookies, right? The Crows factored in the movement of draft picks to snaffle him from The SANFL Eagles premiership side with whom he kicked 38 goals as a small forward. With Stengle out and Lachie Murphy still not a week to week shoe in, Rowe could get a Guernsey to start the season, but it would mean pushing out the likes of Keays, McAdam, Jones, McHenry and even Schoenberg. Still they went after him for reason so jump on as he’ll definitely play a role and make some handy cash at some stage.


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4 thoughts on “Team Preview – Adelaide Crows”

  1. The Crows played so much better with Laird in the guts at the end of last season, I can’t see why they would move away from that. I guess Hately could force him out though? Will be interesting to see what combo Nicks goes with to start the season.
    Matt Crouch will probably have a great season, but he’s burnt me too many times before.
    The other one I’m interested in is Hamill if some of the cheaper def rookies don’t come through for us.

    Great write up Jimmy!


  2. G’day Jimmy,

    Any word on Josh Worrell? Do you think his DUI late last year will relegate him to the 2’s for 2021? Seems to have some talent but got no idea where he sits in his ability to break into the Crows side.




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