And maybe led to the Adelaide Crows not possessing two of the AFL’s most hard-nosed combatants in the forms of Brad and Matt Crouch.
Twenty years ago the Crouch brothers would have been called Brad and Chris Scott, such is their old-fashioned desire for anything that involves competition or fierceness for possession of that red ball.
Ogilvie, who is now Adelaide’s national recruiting manager, first became aware of Brad Crouch when he played in the National U16 Championships for Vic Country.
“When he was a 17-year-old I saw him playing for Ballarat against Geelong at Warrnambool. He played half-back and kicked this goal which was the moment Matty (Rendell) and I said ‘wow, this bloke is a bit better than just a really talented 17-year-old’,” recalled Ogilvie
Originally, this was going to be a tale of two kids from Beaufort who have helped put a small former Goldfields town back on the map, 160 years since its halcyon days.
The Crouch brothers have never lived in Beaufort, yet for all intents and purposes they are the most famous products along with Shane O’Bree of a place that can put the “C” into cold in the middle of winter.
Google the brothers and you will find all types of Beaufort mentions; even reference the AFL Media Guide and Beaufort proudly appears as their football place of beginning.
And weren’t the Crouch brothers both seen supporting the Beaufort Crows when they went down to the Hepburn Burras in the Central Highlands League Grand Final last weekend?
As their Ballarat-based father Phil explains, it has become something of a bush myth but one the family is more than happy to go along with.
“They’ve never lived in the town but both played a year with the seniors when aged 16 and the Beaufort people like to claim the boys as their own, which is fair enough given they were around the local footy club a lot when they were young,” said Phil Crouch.
“We aren’t a family that are really big on the media stuff so we haven’t corrected it, and anyway, the boys are happy to go along with it because the Beaufort Crows will always be their footy club.”
Phil and Debbie Crouch are teachers and when Phil got moved to Beaufort they decided to become involved in the community through football and netball.
“They are a throwback to a different generation,” Ogilvie said. They wanted an inside midfielder in a draft in which Patrick Cripps, Luke Dunstan and George Hewett fitted that bill.
“We were hoping like hell that Matt would get to our pick,” Ogilvie said. “It was a tricky draft that had four or five really high-quality inside-mids.
“We worked it and worked it, twisted it every way and voted and argued because it was so hard to separate those kids on performances.
“Obviously Matt got a couple of extra ticks because his brother was at the club but his performances on his own stacked up.”
Adelaide thought that Matt Crouch would make it through to pick 15, but the club was not sure he would last until their pick 23.
“We went up to see them the next day and Debbie was so relieved, saying she had a dream the night before the draft that he would get to Adelaide,” Ogilvie said.
“Old-school country fellas who have a beer after the game, just good, hard, honest blokes.
“It was great they had played against men, understood the changeroom and when not to talk.”
“At under-18 level Brad was a running half-back who kicked the ball a lot and kicked goals, broke the 50 and not playing as much on ball, whereas Matt was the real inside mid accumulator like Matt Priddis.
“They were very different. Brad has become that inside player.”
It's not just the players. Ever since I become a Bigfooty "Norm Smith Medalist" the ladies are banging down my door. There's nothing that screams sex appeal quite like a guy who spends most of his spare time on footbal forums.
I remember being gutted when we traded off Vince. He was one of the few who had natural mongrel and cheek about him.
MCrouch is definitely a better upgrade on Vince with much more consistency. Already one of the best inside mids going around, but I think Matt can lift an extra notch still! The next 50 might be his best batch of games yet!
I love this guy........in a purely platonic non physical way of course.......ahem!!..... I think his improvement year by year up to 2017 was incredible. There were games in the latter part of that season where even his disposal by foot was becoming elite. His inside game was as good as I have seen. We nearly went all the way on the back of Matty’s clearance work. Sadly I think his exploits have been forgotten a little since then.
His return to the 22 for the Melbourne game has made a big difference to our midfield. It just looks far more imposing with Mrouch in the middle. His bro appreciates him being there I think as do all of his supporters.
Well done Matty on your century. And a top quality dig it was..........more of the same please,