The hype is real for Adelaide young gun Tariek Newchurch.
Newchurch was a Category B selection for the Crows in last year’s AFL draft and he got his first taste in Crows colours in the recent AAMI Community Series game against Port Adelaide.
On The Press Box Podcast, guest co-host Jack Hudson, sung the praises of the recent draftee.
“He will be the Crows next most marketable player, if they play their cards right,” he said.
Wayne Milera was recently ruled out for the season with a patella injury, leaving the Crows without some X-factor in the middle and Hudson threw Newchurch’s name in the ring to replace him.
“You’re playing Geelong in Round one, you’re going to lose, just go with him,” he said.
“He’s that exciting. He will be the name on the back of every kid’s guernseys in the future, he just brings that excitement.”
Co-host Dale Fletcher pondered whether the Crows are going to go with a young side to face the Cats on Saturday afternoon.
Fletcher said that he thought they should.
“Play the kids,” he said.
“Play Thilthorpe, play Newchurch, play Borlase.
“Get them all in, because are those players going to develop in a SANFL team, which is coming up against, late 20s early 30s type footballers.
“You get them into the AFL system, they’ll play against probably players more their own age, in the AFL than the SANFL.
“Let them thrive. The key to getting a list in the window, is to get as many players on your list to 50 games.
“Get ’em to 50 games, and they’ll either sink or swim.”
Co-host Sam Tugwell said the Crows need to get their list to a place where players are dominating in the SANFL and still struggle for selection at AFL level.
“That’s the one best indicator as to how well your team is going, if you can dominate at a seconds level and you still can’t get in the firsts,” he said.
“That’s when you know you’ve got a good team.
“And that’s what Port were doing last year, that’s what other really good teams have done in the past.
“Whereas the Crows, unfortunately they are at the stage where they are just taking what they can get.
“And that’s been a concern for about the last two years.
“We all want them to do well, but right now, it’s going to be a long, long slog.”
Fletcher remains optimistic and says that strong SANFL form for some will lead to breaking into the Crows side.
“I think the Crows SANFL team, will prove how good the next generation are,” he said.
“I reckon they’ll be in the finals.
“If Newchurch plays SANFL, Borlase – all of them, they’ll prove to ‘Nicksy’ [Matthew Nicks] that they deserve AFL spots, in front of established players.”