Will the Adelaide Crows Be Able to Bounce Back from an Underwhelming 2018?
The 2019 AFL season will offer a fresh start for many clubs and it will provide the perfect opportunity to start afresh and press the reset button. The Crows are one of a handful of clubs who will be hoping to turn over a new leaf once the campaign gets underway at the end of March. Round 1 pitches them against Hawthorn at the Adelaide Oval and they’ll be hoping to give their fans something to cheer about on the opening day of the season.
"The crisis and mismanagement of this camp has been plunged into depths we previously didn’t think possible.” @sam_mcclure provides explosive new details on the Adelaide Crows' pre-season camp | https://t.co/NyHZTR7WkJ | #AFL pic.twitter.com/Iv9BjFdeD2
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) August 27, 2018
There was plenty of confidence going into the 2018 campaign following their appearance in the 2017 Grand Final. They were unable to prevent Richmond running riot at the MCG but despite that 48-point loss in the showpiece event, they were still expected to be challenging for the top four once again. It didn’t go according to plan for the Crows and despite finishing with a respectable percentage of 104.1, they could only finish 12th on the ladder. There is plenty of room for improvement.
Throughout the 2017 season, they were regularly priced up as the fancied side and that continued in the Grand Final when the bookmakers made them hot favourites to beat Richmond. Following their underwhelming campaign, they can now be backed at $15.00 in the latest Aussie Rules betting to win this year’s showpiece event although a far more realistic $3.50 is available for them to return to the top four in 2019.
A much needed shake-up during the off-season begun with the departure of Mitch McGovern who was sent to Carlton. The Crows received Shane McAdam and a first-round pick in the draft in exchange for their outgoing forward. McAdam appears to be a suitable replacement and should slot in nicely after kicking 31 goals in the State League last year. They will be looking to further bolster their squad in the AFL Draft with plenty of South Australian talent available. They currently have two first-round picks and will be looking to use them wisely. There are a number of coveted youngsters who may interest the Crows with Connor Rozee and Jack Lukosius both likely to be popular picks at this year’s draft.
“It’s not something the clubs like”
— FIVEaa (@1395FIVEaa) November 2, 2018
Of the existing squad, midfielders Bryce Gibbs and Rory Sloane have returned to training early with the pair aiming to set an example to the younger players in the squad. There appears to be a positive feeling within the camp and that can only benefit the team going forward. The coaches appear to be putting an emphasis on making a fast start to the new season as they aim to catch their opponents cold during the opening couple of weeks.
Last year’s pre-season camp divided the squad and that was partly blamed for the team’s overall lack of progress. With 138 days between the return to training and the start of the new season, there can be very few excuses for a below-par start in 2019. Although, it hasn’t been a complete overhaul, the Crows appear to be heading in the right direction once again and they still possess a hugely talented roster which should help them challenge for a top four position next season.