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Roast 25 Years without an AFL Premiership

The 25 Biggest Club Changing Moments of the last 25 Years


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Firewalker

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Apr 20, 2009
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Happy Silver Anniversary!

Today marks 25 years or 9,131 days that have gone by since the men of the Adelaide Football Club won an AFL Premiership.

To celebrate yesterday’s 25th Anniversary of the 1998 Flag I rewatched the match last night, whilst this thread isn’t specifically about that 1998 Grand Final and lots has been said about that match, (mostly due to that success so far never being repeated by the club) I still found some bits that have been lost in the general history of that day;

  1. Attention on Matthew Robran pre-match was ridiculous after an out of the blue Prelim performance, which was mostly due to Terry Wallace playing a ridiculously undersized Rohan Smith on him the week before, it leads to Dennis Pagan to move his best defender Mickey Martin out from his influential full-back role to Centre Halfback. Robran has a stinker that he was prone to producing at Centre Half-Forward (Robran’s overall history as a forward at the club is pretty poor and it’s ridiculous he made the best 22 of 30 years team, his best football was actually played as a undersized-ruck or as a rebounding/running defender) but despite having a stinker and Martin beating him Robran somehow still plays almost the most influential forward role for the team as North Melbourne’s last line defending and ability to stop forward 50 leads falls apart without Martin playing his more familiar role.
  2. Mark Bickley’s move into the middle; whilst the moves of McLeod into the midfield, Ricciuto to half back and Jarman forward are synonymous for the influence they produced in the second half turnaround the move that makes all those possible is Mark Bickley’s move into the centre. Bickley is unfairly painted in the years since his retirement as a dour defender but he played brilliant football as a midfielder for most of the 90s, his toughness around the ball changes the dynamic of the midfield battle as he gets his hands first to a lot of ball in the 2nd half and stops any influence Stevens & Bell have around the ball.
  3. Brett James’ 3rd quarter is ridiculously important to the outcome of the match as he shuts down North’s prior free scoring ability, James is another player that is moved from the forward role he’d been playing that season to the more unfamiliar role of half-back and shuts down a stack load of North attacks and springboards the ball back the other way. This guy was a genuine gun and should’ve played a lot more league football for the Crows.

But as ever we’re not here to talk about past glories we’re here to talk about what’s happened in the 25 years since that day and what are the biggest moments that have led to this long drought.

We can look back at the mistakes a bored/mad with power Blight made in the aftermath of the flag, his departure after almost blowing up the joint & almost blowing up the joint again by recommending Gary Ayres to take over.

Gary Ayres manages to piss off half the playing list, but despite this finally gets things to click but wastes multiple chances with a generational midfield having to kick to a rotation of dog’s breakfast key forwards.

Neil Craig puts the coach in Fitness coach - finals heartbreak, heartbreaking player absences and questionable list management ensure. Sando sparks short-term on-field success and long-term off-field rumours… Ricciuto then goes all Godfather, what might’ve been if not for Phil Walsh’s sad death? Pyke takes control of everything and almost takes us to the promised land then loses control of everything with camps & press conferences.

And finally Nicks wanders in with a smile and not much else at the club, hits rock bottom and has to fight out of the deep mire to get back to the middle of the pack.

So as a form of catharsis vote for The 25 Biggest Club Changing Moments of the last 25 Years… and talk about those that stand out for you.

Let the healing begin.
 
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Jun 21, 2004
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I looked through your list I think you pretty much nailed everything except for the choke against Sydney in the first week of the 2012 finals.

Pretty depressing looking back on it all.

Thankfully we won flags in 97 and 98, otherwise we'd be adding Bickley's fart in 1993 prelim final to the list.
 

jackster83

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Crow54

23 year veteran.
Oct 9, 2000
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Phil Walsh's passing was heartbreaking in more ways than one. 😢

Tippett-gate and the aftermath of the Camp stand out to me. Unforgiveable, but media reactions had a lot to answer for.

Can anyone see the Club winning a Premiership within the next few years? I don't think I'll still be alive when/if they do.
 

Cap

TheBrownDog
Jul 27, 2004
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I don't actually have an issue with losing the '17 GF

Teams need to make GFs to lose them, it was the decisions made after that.

I think you could add one more options to your list, 'the Burton years' hamstring awareness.

Edit - I think the murder of Walsh was massive for the club, he may have ended up a dud coach, we will never know. But it felt like he was changing something in the club. It just didn't last. But that era of player seem to have been a big reason for that.

But great thread, well done OP
 

cmndstab

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Apr 29, 2008
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I've only ever attended two matches outside of SA. One was a match against North in 05, and the other was the semi final against Collingwood in 09. I went over with a Crows-supporting girlfriend at the time, and two Collingwood-supporting friends. It's the only time I ever went to the MCG and I was sitting in the pocket right next to Rutten/Anthony when the free kick was given at the end. It literally happened right. in. front. of. me.

The scoreline that day was ridiculous - it's easy to forget we were 5 goals up at quarter time. Still 4 goals up at half time, then somehow 2 goals down at three quarter time before taking the lead late in the game, only to lose it in the last thirty seconds. It was the only thing Anthony had done all game too, Rutten had murdered him.

I still remember it like it was yesterday. Goodwin at his devastating best, Vince with 34 touches, Tippett with 4 goals, Rutten a brick wall, Dangerfield with 16 touches and 2 goals in his first "proper" playing season, Knights having a disappointing day after a fantastic year.

It was a long car ride back home.
 

cmndstab

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The 2006 finals series stands out for me as well. I went a research student around that time and went to the United States to work with someone there as the finals series started. I can remember watching the old AFL website where they had a little clipart ball moving around a picture of an oval as their "live" coverage for the qualifying final against Freo, because the shitty old Macintosh in the place I was staying didn't have any speakers. I managed to get another computer set up in time to listen to the radio broadcast of the prelim against West Coast and sat horrified as our half-time lead dwindled away and Cousins' name got called out again and again like it was on a loop. To this day I've still not watched that match.
 

Twist_of_Lemon

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Sep 6, 2008
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To this day I've still not watched that match.
Do you like being punted in the nuts by a woman wearing chunky leather boots? If so, then I whole-heartedly recommend checking it out and even enjoying it at half-speed to really let that Cousins second-half pain sink in.

If not, then yeah, I'd recommend leaving it un-watched. :/
 

El Doederino

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The Carey / Pavlich one shouldn’t be there as it is. Us trading for Carey had nothing to do with Pavlich. We chose Kenny McGregor instead of the Pav.

That’s much worse.
 

Firewalker

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2015. Losing Dangerfield before Brownlow best years.
Yep that’s one I would’ve probably should’ve put in there, missed out on his consistent beast years & still haven’t had anyone to replace what he actually did do when playing for the club.
 

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Firewalker

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The Carey / Pavlich one shouldn’t be there as it is. Us trading for Carey had nothing to do with Pavlich. We chose Kenny McGregor instead of the Pav.

That’s much worse.
Pavlich has talked about wanting to come back at the end of 2002 but Ayres & Reid had already thrown all their eggs (and draft picks) in the Carey basket, I see that as a worst decision then making a decision on a couple of 17-year olds
 

Cap

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The 2006 finals series stands out for me as well. I went a research student around that time and went to the United States to work with someone there as the finals series started. I can remember literally watching the old AFL website where they had a little clipart ball moving around a picture of an oval as their "live" coverage for the qualifying final against Freo, because the shitty old Macintosh in the place I was staying didn't have any speakers. I managed to get another computer set up in time to listen to the radio broadcast of the prelim against West Coast and sat horrified as our half-time lead dwindled away and Cousins' name got called out again and again like it was on a loop. To this day I've still not watched that match.
I was at that game

I remember at the time wondering what had happened at half time.

Nothing, outside a proven negative test, will ever convince me that he didn't take drugs at half time.
 

PCORF

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2009 semi, we dominated but choked as Rutten held Anthony (Right in front of me!). I still doubt we would have beaten Geelong in the prelim though. But beating Collingwood in a final would have been great and I knew that was a once in a lifetime chance.

2012 prelim = what could it have been?

Round 23 of 2016 was pissed we coughed up that game vs West Coast. I think we were better in 2016 then 2017.

2017 GF = forget about that!

Also the bad goal umpiring decision in 2023 but I doubt we would have gone past week 2 of the finals anyway. But yeah, totally ruined what could have been a successful season.
 
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PCORF

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Yep that’s one I would’ve probably should’ve put in there, missed out on his consistent beast years & still haven’t had anyone to replace what he actually did do when playing for the club.

Because he (Dangerfield) simply cannot be replaced.
 

Sanders

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Pavlich has talked about wanting to come back at the end of 2002 but Ayres & Reid had already thrown all their eggs (and draft picks) in the Carey basket, I see that as a worst decision then making a decision on a couple of 17-year olds

Yeah there’s a lot of doubt about whether it’s true though

Pav used both SA clubs a lot whenever he needed a contract raise. Was definitely coming, a lot.

If we’d go all in on an urban myth we could have been left without either
 

El Doederino

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Pavlich has talked about wanting to come back at the end of 2002 but Ayres & Reid had already thrown all their eggs (and draft picks) in the Carey basket, I see that as a worst decision then making a decision on a couple of 17-year olds
Well I wasn’t aware of that, and now I am sad
 

Pilchard_Adams

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Is there a single other club with a comparable list like that? Tippettgate for mine, that stink wafted around for 10 years.
 

jackster83

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I think being out coached and out foxed by a Grant Thomas team missing it’s entire back line in 2005 is hard to stomach

Harvey ran around like an unregistered dog and James freaking Gwilt…
Having the AA captain suspended absolutely ****ed us.