What’s next for South Australian footy?
Now that the biggest game in South Australian football has been played and won, some serious questions once again emerge concerning both clubs: Adelaide Crows and Port Power.
Some have been asked all year, but some are just being asked now after a tumultuous week for Adelaide.
Now that Mark Bickley has his first win as interim coach, is his future any clearer?
Clear as mud, is the answer.
It seems almost a statistical given that a caretaker coach will win his first match, and with the Crowbots needing to show some fight and passion to, in some small token gesture way, make up for the disgraceful form that sold out their previous mentor, Bicks’ honeymoon is already over.
As of the next game against Brisbane, he needs to start showing the Crows and their supporters that he is the man for the job, and he can do that by answering two key questions: can Taylor Walker and Kurt Tippett co-inhabit the same forward line, and can the carefree running midfield work continue?
First things first, the “Two Towers”.
History shows that two hard leading, high marking players can exist side by side, but the most likely and desirable outcome now looks one of them becoming a full-time centre half forward and the other the big target in the square.
Walker, with his flashy brilliance (which had me on the edge of my set in frustration more so than excitement) has the athleticism and guts to play a freewheeling role further up the field, and Tippett has the height and marking ability (given the right supply) to be a full forward.
All of this might be mute conjecture, with Walker almost certainly Greater Western Sydney bound, but a permanent place in the team, and given a license to kill, so to speak, might just be all the boy wonder, who’s name has the same effect as Moses on the Crows’ faithful with its ability to divide absolutely, needs to stay on at West Lakes.
As for whether the free-running and confident approach to the Crows’ footy, it can continue. And by that I mean the team has the ability. Not a fast team by foot but by hand, the Adelaide midfield looks capable of an exciting brand of football – until the young chargers in the middle get rattled.
Bicks needs to show now that this weekend’s performance wasn’t just a Showdown-inspired apparition, and turn the young cults on his list into full fledged charging, confident stallions.
Funnily enough, this leads me into the biggest question on the Port team.
With a wooden spoon looming and no decent draft picks on offer thanks to the AFL’s need to ‘manifest destiny’ in the west of Sydney, the Power must now make the call on a few in their list and ‘manifest youth’ in their 22.
Youth is already the only thing they have in abundance, but time has now come for the likes of Westhoff, Boak and Surjan to shoulder some of the burden of leading the team. They’re not young players any more; time for them to become the team’s heart and soul – and for Chad Cornes to be put to pasture.
Cornes looked like a fit and more than competent player on the weekend, but the question begs if that game wasn’t against their most hated rivals, would he of even put the boots on? The Power cannot rely on sporadic moments of passion to win the games twice a year.
If Cornes can’t perform like that week in week out like he used to, then he’s holding a place and some needed funds back from a star of the future.
In order to keep the likes of Trengrove and Carlisle, the Power needs to free up Cornes’ pay-pack and open their wallets to the pair – without reservation or hesitation.
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