Crows boss orders no AFL finals talk
Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson has ordered players to ignore talk of being surprise AFL contenders as he embarks on phase two of his rapid rebuild of the Crows.
Sanderson has lifted Adelaide from their worst finish, 14th, to an 8-2 win-loss record in his first season as coach.
Adelaide have a user-friendly draw and no injuries, but Sanderson said finals remain an unspoken word within the Crow confines.
“We haven’t really talked about it as a group,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“And even as coaches, we’re trying to just live in the moment as best we can.
“There is still a lot of the season to go … the competition is so tight, you can’t afford to slip up because the teams that are just outside of the eight are really pushing hard to get in.”
Sanderson said top four expectations for his Crows, who host St Kilda on Friday night, shouldn’t impact the club.
“It shouldn’t affect us – it doesn’t affect me as a coach, it shouldn’t affect the players,” he said.
With all but three clubs still holding finals aspirations midway through the season, Sanderson believed the premiership could be won by a well-timed late finish.
“If a side gets fit and in form at the right time of the year, they’re going to be a chance,” he said.
“And that might be six, seven, eight sides who are a live chance late in the year.
“Hopefully we are one of those teams but it’s way too early to call.”
The ex-Geelong assistant has built the Crows into the contested ball and clearance kings of the competition – achieving his initial goal as a coach.
Next comes plans for greater potency on the outside of contests, a weakness Sanderson and his assistants found in a review over Adelaide’s bye weekend.
“We had a little midseason review just to see where we sat across the competition in a lot of different areas,” Sanderson said.
“Some things, we’re at the top – contested ball, clearances.
“Some things, we’re right down the bottom.
“We have got to ensure that we tighten up those areas.
“Stuff like uncontested possession – we’re not getting enough outside ball, which should be a strength of ours.
“The pessimist says there is still a lot of room for improvement, there are some things we need to really tighten up on quickly.”© AAP 2013
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