The Adelaide Crows will once again head into a new AFL season with one of the youngest playing groups in the competition, but are hopeful of improving their ladder position yet again by the end of year.
The Crows finished the 2021 campaign with seven wins, four more than the amount achieved in 2020. In the off-season, the club was able to recruit one of 2021’s biggest improvers in Sydney’s Jordan Dawson, as well as bring in three young talent’s from the draft.
On paper, their list appears to have strengthened, and as their younger squad members continue to develop, a return to finals contention could well be on the cards.
Adelaide’s Head of Football, Adam Kelly, was questioned on Monday regarding the team’s list management and whether there is now an ideal balance of youth and experience.
Kelly strongly supported the role’s of the team’s senior players from the 2021 season.
“From what we’ve seen in 2021 is that we’ve got a group of senior players who have really stood up,” Kelly said.
“When we sat down at the end of the year and went through the review processes, we identified that many of our senior players had had ‘best ever’ season’s, or equal to best ever season’s, and that’s all you can ask from that senior cohort.”
Crows fans will be excited by the level of experience in their team’s younger players, and there’s every opportunity that they can go to the next level this year.
“When it comes to our younger group, there’s a growing experience in that group. We’ll go into 2022 with the youngest list in the competition once again, but we’ve got a number of players now that sit in that 25 to 50 game bracket; Jordan Butts, Chayce Jones, Will Hamill, Andrew McPherson, Harry Schoenberg, Lachlan Sholl, Ned McHenry and Darcy Fogarty all sitting in that bracket,” Kelly explained.
“Come season’s end, if those guys are regulars in the team, they’re all gonna be approaching or in excess of 50 games. So what we’re seeing, whilst it’s a young group, is they’re building experience and that’s getting the most out of their footy career’s,
“They’re working hard, they’re a really positive group, they’re really connected, and they’re determined for success. We’re really confident in the group we’ve put together, and we’re looking forward to what they can deliver.”
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In further team news, Taylor Walker is fully re-immersed back at the club after a controversial conclusion to the end of the 2021 season.
“Taylor hasn’t missed a session, he’s trained extremely well. It’s now two pre-season’s running that Taylor’s presented himself really well, and we’ve seen how well he played last year. We expect him to have another really strong season, and hasn’t missed a session to date,” Kelly said.
“The full squad is engaged, and Taylor’s an important part of that. The squad have welcomed him back with open arms.”
Rory Sloane’s injury run continues, having trained on light duties this week after suffering a minor hamstring strain, but expects to be back with the main group by the weekend.
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