Season six could not have gone any better for the Adelaide Crows, winning their third premiership on the back of a first-place finish. Having retained a very strong crop of the premiership team, the club looks set to be one of the main threats again for season seven.
First (nine wins and one loss)
Season six was a dream season for the Adelaide Crows, with the team winning its third premiership in six seasons, as well as giving the fans plenty of memorable moments throughout.
Adelaide began the season by avenging the previous season’s grand final defeat, taking care of Brisbane by five goals, and carried this momentum throughout the next month of the year.
The Crows claimed some big scalps in this time, including Melbourne and North Melbourne, before finishing off with a 39-point win over Carlton in Round 5.
Following this electric start, the Crows hit a minor bump in the road in Round 6 against the Western Bulldogs, falling by one point on the back of a slow start, met with inaccurate kicking for goal.
Adelaide quickly rectified this the following week, dismissing GWS by 40 points, and defeating Fremantle in the west, one of the competition’s premiership favourites.
After winning the final two games of the home and away season, Adelaide faced off against Fremantle in the preliminary final, having won its way to hosting privileges after winning the minor premiership. Adelaide defeated Fremantle with relative ease and won through to a fourth Grand Final in six years.
Facing off against Melbourne in the Grand Final at Adelaide Oval, the minor premiers burst out of the gates and were far too good all day, forcing the visitors to play catch-up all day long. They proved far too good, and claimed a third premiership.
What to look forward to:
On the back of a third premiership in season six, excitement is high at West Lakes. With a high amount of the squad retained, and some player inclusions, Adelaide will be raring to go once again.
Adelaide fans will be looking forward to seeing some of the competition’s best players back in the tri-colours in season seven once again.
Key forward Ashleigh Woodland burst onto the scene in season six, winning the leading goal-kicker award, and is well supported by the likes of Danielle Ponter and Rachelle Martin in the forward contingent.
Elsewhere, the midfield is one of the best in the competition, with dynamic duo Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff rejecting big interest from rival clubs to stay in Adelaide. Both finished in the top five in the best and fairest count last season.
Down back, All-Australian full-back Sarah Allan is arguably the competition’s best key defender, Chelsea Biddell came on leaps and bounds last season, and the experienced duo of Marijana Rajcic and captain Chelsea Randall will help lead youngsters Amber Ward and Keeley Kustermann into the backline for years to come.
Adelaide recruited well, securing exciting West Coast duo Ward and Niamh Kelly in the off-season. Fans can also expect to see more of Zoe Prowse in season seven after a best on ground performance in the SANFLW Grand Final.
Biggest unanswered question:
Despite retaining 25 of its premiership-winning team, the void left by superstar Erin Phillips will still be significant, and the biggest question for Adelaide fans surrounds how the side will replace her.
Now at 37 years of age, the time was coming for Adelaide to move her on, and a question as to how the club replaces her has always been a topic of conversation amongst fans.
However, with the announcement of expansion side Port Adelaide, Phillips has left Adelaide perhaps a season earlier than it would’ve liked, and the club will now rely even more upon other superstar players.
Most notably, Woodland looks set to continue making up the forward presence after winning the leading goal-kicker award for season six.
More AFLW Season Previews
It’s a big year for:
On the back of winning her first premiership in season six, as well as the departure of Erin Phillips, utility Caitlin Gould will be a big part of season seven for Adelaide.
Emerging ruck Montanna McKinnon missed out on last season’s flag through suspension, but is still firming as Adelaide’s number one ruck, which means we are set to see more of Gould the forward.
With the experience and quality of Phillips departing, Gould must take her game to a new level in season seven to assist Woodland and Ponter up forward.
Having recently signed a one-year extension, and now at 23 years old, Gould has the makings of a player set to take her game to the next level, and now has to show it on the field.
Being a premiership side, Adelaide is one of the most watchable sides in the competition, and this season will have some fixtures which will be must-watch football.
Adelaide begins this season with an absolute blockbuster against Melbourne, in a Grand-Final rematch at Norwood Oval under Friday night lights.
Perhaps the biggest game of its season will come when it takes on its cross-town rivals and expansion side Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval. The Crows have lost one game at the Adelaide Oval in their short history, and will be desperate to claim bragging rights.
Adelaide will also travel to Punt Road Oval in Round 2, where it is set to take on Richmond for the first time in history.
R1: vs. Melbourne, August 26 (Norwood Oval)
R2: vs. Richmond, September 3 (Swinburne Centre Punt Road Oval)
R3 vs. North Melbourne, September 10 (Wigan Oval)
R4 vs. Collingwood, September 18 (Victoria Park)
R5 vs. Greater Western Sydney, September 25 (Wigan Oval)
R6 vs. Port Adelaide, September 30 (Adelaide Oval)
R7 vs. Fremantle, October 8 (Wigan Oval)
R8 vs. Brisbane Lions, October 14 (Metricon Stadium)
R9 vs. Geelong Cats, October 21 (Norwood Oval)
R10 vs. St. Kilda, TBC (RSEA Park)
In: Niamh Kelly (West Coast), Amber Ward (West Coast), Jess Waterhouse (South Adelaide), Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide – Pick 40), Kiera Mueller (Sturt – Pick 69), McKenzie Dowrick (Woodville-West Torrens – Pick 71)
Out: Angela Foley (Port Adelaide), Nikki Gore (Fremantle), Justine Mules (Port Adelaide), Erin Phillips (Port Adelaide), Jess Sedunary (West Coast), Rhiannon Metcalfe (retired)
Inactive: Dayna Cox (personal reasons), Deni Varnhagen (maternity leave), Jasmyn Hewett (work commitments)
Round 1 line-up:
Despite losing superstar forward Erin Phillips to cross-town rivals Port Adelaide, amongst other experienced names including Justine Mules and Angela Foley, Adelaide has maintained 25 of its premiership-winning squad from season six.
Although some running power and defensive class was lost, Adelaide recruited heavily during the trade period and should have the quality to compete for its fourth premiership in seven attempts.
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