15/04/2024

Ashleigh Woodland and Ebony Marinoff celebrate. (Picture: Jack Hudson)

After an undefeated start, Crows star midfielder Ebony Marinoff says a special culture is the key to their push for a third flag.

Adelaide Crows star midfielder Ebony Marinoff says the special culture at the Crows is the key to their push for their third flag in 2022.

When asked about her team’s form on Monday afternoon, Ebony Marinoff was insistent that they are in the best position possible to do better than just become grand finalists like 2021.

“I think we’ve been known and renowned for our great culture but we just have a great understanding of what we need to do as a team,” she said.

“We are really close on and off the field but that’s not being in each other’s pockets everyday, that’s just getting an understanding of everybody’s individual needs and wants. We just get along like a house on fire.

“We are a very driven bunch so on the track it’s doing the hard work but having fun. I think I put it [our form] down to everyone being on the same page.

“We spoke a lot in the pre-season about why we are here and what we wanted to achieve, and we don’t shy away from the fact that we are here for three or four times a week to be the best team in the comp.”

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Marinoff has been very impressed by the younger half of the squad and the way they have helped to impact the game.

It’s taking the pressure off the likes of herself, Anne Hatchard, Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall with a swathe of added support.

The development of Chelsea Biddell and Nikki Gore in defence, Rachelle Martin and Hannah Button in the midfield and Madison Newman up forward has been an evolution in their careers.

Chelsea Biddell-AFC Website
Adelaide Crows AFLW forward turned defender Chelsea Biddell. (Photo: Adelaide FC)

“I think it’s just more the girls have trust and belief that they can really impact the games,” Marinoff said.

“It certainly doesn’t take away from our game, we keep doing what we are doing, week in, week out, it just means they can have a bit more of an influence on the game.”

Biddell played a huge role in the win over Melbourne, keeping star forward Tayla Harris quiet throughout the majority of the match.

Martin similarly was key to Adelaide’s crushing forward pressure, laying a game high nine tackles and keeping the squeeze on the typically prolific Libby Birch and Sarah Lampard.

Marinoff spoke highly of the individuals that have stepped up to fill key roles within the team due to injury and COVID protocols, saying that the club is built on a whole squad mentality.

“That’s just how we are going to evolve as a team and have stronger depth,” she explained.

“We’ve had a few ins and outs with the COVID health and safety protocolsm and everyone that has come in has impacted the game, they haven’t come in and made up the numbers.”

The Crows celebrate a goal. (Photo: Adelaide FC)

So far in season 2022, the Crows have impressed with a 30-point win against the 2021 premiers in Brisbane at Flinders University Stadium. This was backed up with a win against North Melbourne Tasmanian by 13 points at Norwood Oval.

A lop-sided win against West Coast Eagles at the Swinburne Centre was expected, however the Crows humiliated the Eagles to take home the win.

Arguably the most impressive win of their season so far was against Melbourne by 14 points, with their opposition kicking their only goals in the final term.

Claiming the four points against three of 2021’s finalists has Adelaide in near peerless company.

“It’s been an awesome start, you know we knew what we were capable of at the end of pre-season so to be able to be four and zero is very pleasing,” Marinoff said.

“But as we all know things can change very quickly in the AFLW space. We will definitely bank those four wins, just proud of the girls and it’s really pleasing start to the season.

“Hopefully we get there at the last day of the season and get our ultimate success, which will be getting to hold up that shiny cup.”

The next game for Adelaide will be on Sunday against Carlton at Ikon Park, taking to the road.

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