Adelaide Crows Season Preview 2015

New coach, new captain, new CEO and new players. Is this the beginning of a special era for the Adelaide football club or a failure of decision making by the key men at West Lakes?

As the Crows prepare for the 2015 AFL season there is a sense of excitement in the air due to the significant changes that occurred during the offseason. Sanderson sacked, Walsh brought in, Fagan appointed, Taylor Walker named captain and a speculative trade period were only some of the highlights of a very busy offseason from the Adelaide Football Club. So as the season draws closer let’s take a look at how the Crows will perform in 2015.

The Offseason 

The Hawks were still celebrating their Grand Final win as the Crows dropped more than one bombshell on the AFL world. The first and most significant was without doubt the unexpected sacking of coach Brendon Sanderson who in his brief three year stint at West Lakes had taken his side to just one kick away from a grand final only two years earlier. After the shock of the decision the focus then immediately turned to finding a replacement with a wide variety of names thrown into the ring. The biggest of these would be Alastair Clarkson who at one stage had been falsely reported in the media as signing a long-term deal at West Lakes. But it was just another rumour. In the meantime the Crows had been busy and lured Port Adelaide assistant Phil Walsh from Alberton, giving the footy world another unexpected surprise.

So with a new coach and CEO in place it was trade time and the Crows entered the trade period needing to cover three significant holes in their list being: key defenders, ruck support and outside speed. Adelaide were able to cover two of these three areas by bringing in Hawthorn duo Kyle Cheney and Luke Lowden in exchange for draft picks. The Crows would also make one more trade with Geelong, which would see them clinch picks 14 and 35 in exchange for picks 10 and 47. With an improved position the draft came around and would see the Crows pick up young key defender Jake Lever along with Harrison Wigg, Harry Dear and Mitch McGovern. So after finalising their list only one thing was missing, a new captain to take the club forward. There were many worthy candidates for the top job but in the end it was spearhead Taylor Walker who got the nod thus completing Adelaide’s list for 2015.

Who to Look Out For

2014 saw several Crows players have breakout years with the likes of Brodie Smith, Daniel Talia and Matthew Jaensch, all having career best seasons. So as the season draws closer which players are we likely to see shine for the Crows in 2015?

Brad Crouch 

Much has been said of young gun Brad Crouch who continues to get better with more experience at AFL level. Crouch’s first two years at the Crows were very impressive but something tells me he will have serious impact on the competition this year. The way he reads the play is second to none as he frequently racks up huge numbers of disposals whilst also getting on the scoresheet. In 2014 Crouch averaged 24.7 touches a game at AFL level from only eleven games. These numbers are truly exceptional and are set to get even better in 2015. He is also an imposing threat on the inside as he gets his hands dirty at stoppages and fights hard for possession of the footy to benefit the teammates around him. According to all reports Crouch is killing it on the track this preseason impressing his new coach Walsh and teammates alike. The time is now right for Crouch to really come of age as one of the competitions elite up and coming stars and grasp his opportunity to become one of the key men of the Adelaide midfield.

Josh Jenkins

A career best year saw Josh Jenkins finally cement his place at full forward in a talented Adelaide forward line. That being said 2015 is a big year for Jenkins as he aims to become one of the competitions most influential powerful forwards. At 198cm, 104kg and 25 years of age Jenkins has the attributes to become something special for the Crows inside the forward 50. I believe Jenkins will continue improving in 2015 as he begins to get a complete grasp on his roll in the side and how he can use his size to maximum effect. His past two seasons at AFL level have seen him boot 24 and 40 goals respectively. His goal kicking continues to improve and this should also be the case in 2015 and we will see Jenkins add to his 2014 tally. His ability to go into the ruck is also incredibly handy and this skill is something I can see Jenkins really improving in 2015, which in turn would see him become an extremely valuable player in the Crows line up and put to rest any comparisons to the not so fondly remembered Kurt Tippett.

Prediction 

With a new coach at the helm and a young list gaining more and more experience I can see good things emerging at West Lakes in 2015. The talent that lies within Adelaide’s squad is first class with many players only just hitting the peak of their powers. They may have underachieved in the last couple of years but something tells me that Phil Walsh is the right man to get the best out of this young group of emerging players. With the likes of Dangerfield, Sloane and Crouch in their midfield, Talia and Smith down back and Walker and Betts up forward they definitely have the firepower to compete with the competitions best. Despite their lack of consistency over the last couple of seasons I believe a breakout year beckons in 2015, which should see them firmly entrenched in the top 8 come finals time.

Predicted Ladder Position: 6th 

Best 22: 

FB: Cheney, Hartigan, Brown

HB: Henderson, Talia, Jaensch

C: Smith, B.Crouch, Sloane

HF: Douglas, Jenkins, Lynch

FF: Betts, Walker, Podsiadly

FOLL: Jacobs, Dangerfield, Thompson

I/C: Van Berlo, Cameron, Wright, Kerridge

About

Young sports journalists who is looking to get his name out. Love all things Footy, Tennis and Cricket, am I die hard Crows fan and SA cricket fan.

Comments

  1. Welcome aboard Zac. You can’t finish 6th – that is already reserved for the Eagles with the Dockers 7th.
    You make a logical, coherent argument. I thought that the Crows were the big underachievers of the last 2 years given their talent even allowing for upheavals and injuries.
    They should be the big improvers of 2015, but they do find a way don’t they? Is Danger just biding his time before going back to Corio?

  2. Dave Brown says

    Nice work Zac. If Jenkins can remember that he is 198cm and 104kg I think you might be right – he could be a lot more influential on games. The question will be whether the 22 you have put on the digital paper will be able to consistently pressure the opposition when they have the ball – the Crows’ downfall in the last couple of years. If not (from my entirely unbiased viewpoint), blokes that can apply pressure and deliver the ball cleanly like Grigg and Wilson need to get a look in.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hi Zac, welcome.

    We need more goals from our big forwards, can’t be relying on Eddie Betts to be winning games for us.

    Do you reckon Tex will play deep? And who is our back up ruckman?

  4. ZacStandish99 says

    Hey Mark,

    I feel that Tex will mostly play deep this season but will spend a little bit of time up the ground. As for back up rucks Luke Lowden was brought in predominantly for that reason.

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Welcome aboard Zac the crows along with so many other sides are a chance re the lower end of the 8 , the lack of a 2nd tall defender is a huge weakness . We need far more out of Henderson Clubs offered 1st round draft picks for him before the 2014 season which we knocked back Injury ruined his pre season last year but his time is now . I hope Van Berlo is used as a tagger and Griggs left foot is needed in a side lacking left footers . Wigg is a youngster who may get a chance with his elite left leg his major asset , realistically we need a good run with injuries to play finals and succeed

  6. Ben Pilley says

    Awesome start Zac! Great first article – and whilst your arguments are coherent and reasoned, I just can’t see Adelaide finishing higher than Collingwood!

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