With the 2019 AFL draft in the rearview mirror and club lists finalised for 2020, we decided – despite overwhelming popular opinion – that it’s not at all too early to start speculating about the season ahead.
If you had asked anyone this six months ago, you would’ve been laughed at. But Adelaide have lost the least amount of games over the entire year, that is the pre season and the full home and away season thus far.
So why haven’t they been talked about as premiership fancies?
One of the main reasons I believe is because they aren’t a Melbourne based team. As most AFL supporters are Victorian, we tend to not analyse teams from other states, instead focusing on Collingwood, Hawthorn and Geelong as the ‘class’ teams.
So this allows clubs like Sydney, Adelaide and West Coast to sneak under the radar. Their record against the Pies and the Hawks this year also creates doubts in experts minds. Critics have also pointed to their soft draw.
But what most people don’t give the Crows credit for is their ability to not be fazed by games against big clubs.
We saw this in round six at the SCG where they got the jump on Sydney, were challenged late, but held on.
A week later they then defeated the Cats by eight goals, yet still everyone believed they weren’t worthy of their place.
Beating a desperate Essendon was also a brave effort, coming down from 28 points at half time to win. They do know how to win.
Their soft draw according to experts has helped them. But what they forget is at least one club from the lower reaches of the ladder each year gets extra help for the next season.
They have just benefitted from being lucky. Not many footy fans like the Crows, but fans might have to get used to the Crows playing a big part in this years finals series.
Remember they haven’t lost two games or more all year, the only team to do so. Write them off at your peril.