Otten Not Forgotten



With all the hyperbole about the Walkers, the Betts, the Sloanes, the Lairds and the Crouches many of the lesser known players of the flag favourites have also lifted their game a notch or two to lift the team to their exalted position at the moment.


One such player is Andy Otten (not to be confused with the plural who cost the Cats a flag with his selfish play in 2008) a forgotten player amongst the galaxy of Stars in the Crows murder.  With a tad over 80 games since 2008 he has been a lost soul in recent years.


The former runner-up in the NAB Rising Star (2008) the talented utility has had a wretched run with injuries culminating with knee injuries that kept his out of top football for nearly all of seasons 2015 and 2016.


Three knee reconstructions later he has returned to senior football and is fast becoming the jack-of-all-trades in the talented lineup.  Filling holes for coach Pyke in a variety of positions.


Starting the year in the back half his lumbering walk and run belighs his ability to be in the right place and the right time where his ability to take the front position and either mark or push the ball to team mate. One must also mention his big backside which also looks out of character with a top footballer.  On top if this he has a sound football brain.  Watching him closely the last two weeks he also does a lot of unheralded bullocking work.


With the injury to Josh Jenkins he has been switched forward to relieve Jacobs in the ruck and to be a marking forward.  Without starring he has done the job admirably and kicked goals as well.


One wonders what his position will be when Jenkins returns.


Be that as it may it has been a great return for a player who looked like his career was over in 2015-16 and one that deserves the plaudits of friend and foe alike.


Coach Pyke is reluctant to change a winning combination and in the four matches so far changes have been minimal.  His philosophy must be that winning form is good form so why change.


When you look at the makeup of the Crows this year very little has changed in regard to personnel the main factor being is that the lesser lights have got better.  Players such as the Atkins, Camerons, Kellys, Hamptons have lifted their games which in return has lifted the team.   It is hard to see veteran champion Scott Thompson regaining his spot in the team and what about the other Crouch Brad?


The Crows certainly are flying as one this year.


As I predicted at the start of the season they will be hard to beat for the flag.  The only provision I have is that Sam Jacobs will need to be monitored every week so that he is not “done” before the finals commence.



About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Nice article Bob.

    It’s been a great story so far this with the return to football of Andy Otten.

    Before his switch to attack, his work in defence was solid and gave Adelaide a similar player to Jake Lever (though not possessing the athleticism of Snake, his footy brain and decision making are similar.)

    So far the season has been good for Adelaide, and hopefully the team can keep taking it one game at a time to get to the last game of the year on the ‘G.

    Cheers, Steve.

  2. Citrus Bob it is his footy smarts which I love as you well no the athlete at times gets looked at more than favourably give me the footy smart player every time.It will be interesting where he is used when Jenkins returns( unlikely to be this week ) would,Greg Williams get a spot on a Afl list now days ?

  3. Keiran Croker says

    I started to notice Otten again last week. Was surprised how much his body shape had changed over the years and that he is pinch hitting in the ruck. I agree he has footy smarts. I hope he gets a good run at it after the knee setbacks.
    Looked up his history and discovered he is an old Whitefriars boy … arch enemies of we Aquinas boys. I wish him well all the same.

  4. Crows and Cats. Cats and Crows. 4 and 0. 4 and O.
    I’m going to stop calling you “Citrus Bob”. Now its “Two Bob Each Way”. The luckiest punter in the AFL.
    Its the Crows depth that has impressed me most. Mid tier player’s improvement and constantly stepping up when they have injuries. Mark of a good side – but have they gone too early? Think Kingston Town in the 1982 Melbourne Cup.

  5. Dave Brown says

    Yep, I wondered where he was at after last season – solid but unspectacular in the SANFL. Has been very impressive this year. Kelly is another who looked to have stalled in the SANFL last year that has been really impressive across the first three and a half rounds. My feeling was always Thompson would only be insurance this year, focussing his energies on helping to develop the young midfielders in the SANFL. Still very much appears to be the case, can’t imagine him fitting into this Crows midfield anymore.

  6. Ben Footner says

    Really happy to see Otten back in the side and contributing – he could have been anything had his career not been cruelled by so many knee reconstructions, and I hope he keeps getting the opportunity to reclaim some of his lost years.

Leave a Comment