Who needs to step up in the absence of Crows skipper Randall?

Chelsea Randall will miss the Grand Final under the concussion protocol. Photo: @CrowsAFLW Twitter
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Adelaide and Brisbane will add another chapter to their epic rivalry on Saturday, facing off at Adelaide Oval in the AFLW Grand Final. The meeting between the two in the inaugural 2017 AFLW saw Adelaide run out Premiers.

After being concussed in the Preliminary Final victory over Melbourne, Adelaide skipper Chelsea Randall will miss the Grand Final under the concussion protocol. The two-time Premiership player’s leadership has been instrumental to her side’s winning ways in recent years.

Angela Foley will captain the side on Saturday. She is a two-time Premiership player that has been in the leadership group since its inception and has been a reliable defender for the Crows.

10 players on the Adelaide Crows list boast two-time Premiership player credentials. However, the loss of Randall can’t be overstated for a side that she has co-captained since its inception.

So, who needs to step up in order to deliver Adelaide a third flag in five years?

Sarah Allan

At just 23 years of age, Allan has been a rock in defence for the Adelaide Crows for five seasons. A huge task awaits her in the form of Dakota Davidson on Saturday.

Allan picked up 15 touches in the Preliminary Final last weekend and helped hold Melbourne to a solitary goal for the match. Her defensive prowess is already well noted as an All-Australian player in 2020.

It’s the offensive side of her game has progressed this season; she’s been a key cog in moving the ball out of the Crows’ defensive 50.

In future years, her next step will be taking up a prominent leadership role. Allan has the capabilities of becoming the next captain of the Crows, but can she showcase her leadership on Saturday afternoon?

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Erin Phillips

A four-year co-captain alongside Randall, Phillips is a big game player and one of the greatest players the women’s game has seen.

A two-time WNBA Champion, a 2006 FIBA Gold Medallist and a WNBL Championship speaks for itself.

However, her AFLW career isn’t finished yet. Two AFLW Best and Fairest awards accompany best-afield performances in both Premierships with Adelaide. The 35-year-old will look to make it three from three on Saturday.

Phillips had another memorable season in 2021, averaging 17 disposals and over a goal a game.

The brilliant number 13 for the Crows kicked the first goal in the Preliminary Final, and ended the game with a second goal to her name in a vintage performance.

Phillips relinquished the captaincy at the beginning of 2021. She remains a brilliant on-field leader and will need to step up to the plate if her side is to get over the line in the Grand Final.

Danielle Ponter

Ponter has been busy in the forward 50 this season, kicking eight goals in her nine matches so far in 2021. Now at the end of her third season at the top level, she needs to recapture 2019’s form. In that season Ponter kicked 13 goals from her eight matches.

She was kept quiet in Adelaide’s Preliminary Final victory, unable to kick a major and registering eight touches for the match. Now is the time for Ponter to step up in the forward half for Adelaide and help deliver a winning score.

She kicked three goals in 2019’s Grand Final victory over Carlton – can the 20-year-old do it again on Saturday afternoon?

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About Jasper Chellappah 231 Articles
Jasper writes on Aussie Rules, basketball, tennis and netball for The Inner Sanctum. His main area is player analysis, with a keen focus on the AFL Draft. He also lends his voice to The Checkside and the SuperCoach Sanctum PODcast each week.

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