04/03/2024
Adelaide AFLW coach Matthew Clarke isn't taking a dangerous Carlton outfit lightly despite its 1-3 record, citing its talent all over the ground.

Ahead of a massive clash at Ikon Park on Sunday afternoon, Adelaide coach Matt Clarke says his side needs to remain wary of Carlton despite its win/loss.

While Carlton hasn’t had the start to season 2022, that it would have liked, claiming just one win from its opening four matches, and currently sitting in 10th place, Daniel Harford’s side still poses dangerous threats all over the field.

Speaking to media on Friday, the Crows coach mentioned his side will once again need to be at their best if they are to topple the Blues.

“They’re obviously not where they want to be. But when you look at their list and the talent that is there, then you’ve got to be respectful of that,” he said.

“They’ll be desperate to get their season going. Clearly they had a win early but they need to start winning now so they’re going to be at their best, and they’ve got talent. That is a dangerous combination.

“They’re also really skilful. Looking at some of their offence, some of their kicking skill is really high end, and on a big deck that poses a big threat. We’ll be ready for the challenge.”

The Crows coach said his side also need to be aware of the size of the ground, and how they can use that to their advantage.

Despite being inaugural sides of the competition, the Crows and the Blues have only faced off at Ikon Park once, with the Crows venturing there in 2019.

It makes for a unique challenge for the side to stay undefeated.

“There is more opportunity for us to use the ball and use the space well,” Clarke said.

“I envisage the game will be a little bit more open than last week which was very contested. Therefore, you need to have a slightly different skill set heading into each game.”

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Clarke has been impressed with the Crows’ ability to change their midfield dynamic on the fly, contributing to their excellent start to the season.

Experienced campaigners Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff have been massive contributors to the set-up of the Crows side once again.

However, the ability to put young players into the midfield rotation including Rachelle Martin and Hannah Button, amongst many others has been a joy to watch for Crows fans.

Martin was at her best in the win over the Lions in round one, with 14 disposals, while the experience of Eloise Jones enabled her to be one of the standout performers in the win over the Eagles with 23 disposals along with six tackles.

“We want to keep expanding that midfield rotation,” Clarke explained.

“This week we have a good challenge. They’ve got the dominant ruck in the competition, Breann Moody, along with midfielders such as Maddy Prespakis, Lucy McEvoy and Georgia Gee, all of which are top end picks.”

“There’s going to be a good midfield battle, as there is most weeks to be honest so the players are critical to our performance.”

The match begins at Ikon Park on Sunday afternoon at 3:10pm AEDT.

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