Adelaide are what every AFL team should be

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor


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    I don’t like the Adelaide Crows. I don’t think you’ll find a lot of North Melbourne supporters who do. They’ve given us more pain I reckon than any other club in the AFL.

    Think of the infamous Petrenko game. Think of Wayne Carey strutting around in their colours. Think of all those wins we’ve had against them in South Australia (hint: there’s not many). Do not even mention the 1998 Grand Final.

    But, it’s much as Wes Mantooth once said to Ron Burgundy: “Deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight, hate you – but God damn it, do I respect you.”

    » The Roar’s comprehensive guide to the 2016 AFL Finals

    Stop and have a think for a moment about all the bad hands that Adelaide have been dealt with over the past few years.

    First, there’s the enormous amount of talent that has left the club. Patrick Dangerfield is the one that sticks in the mind at the moment, but don’t forget about Nathan Bock, Phil Davis, Jack Gunston, Kurt Tippett, and Bernie Vince.

    Combine those five with Dangerfield and you’ve got enough talent going out the door to make any club recruiter cry. Some list managers would shrug their shoulders and give it up – oh well, we gave it a try, how about a rebuild?

    Most of those players have resulted in Adelaide getting a decent enough trade return but Kurt Tippett was very much the opposite of that.

    Now this is self-inflicted pain to some degree so while I would happily criticise those Adelaide people who brought it on the club, one must still admire how the current administration has overcome it.

    For those with short memories, when Tippett left the club it was discovered that there had been some untoward deals being made between him and the Crows, which resulted in bans and fines for many, and two years worth of first and second round draft picks being taken from the Crows.

    Lastly and most tragically, this is a club that has lost two beloved coaches in the space of just a few years – assistant coach Dean Bailey passing away following a bout with lung cancer in 2014, and senior coach Phil Walsh in absolutely tragic circumstances only a little more than a year ago.

    No other club in the AFL has been put through that kind of suffering in recent times, arguably ever.

    There’s not a single footy fan who would give them any kind of criticism if they had just rolled over for a little while.

    But not Adelaide.

    While other clubs might whinge and whine and complain about their disadvantages, or a lack of handouts – see Justin Leppitsch’s press conference last week – the Crows have never wavered from their commitment to excellence.

    Look at them now – they’re in the mix to be considered the best team in the year. They might win the flag this year and, putting aside my own biases, I genuinely hope they do.

    Could there be a more satisfying sight in footy, after what they’ve been through, than seeing them hold up the premiership cup?

    Even if that doesn’t come about this year, or even in this era of the club, they can still be immensely proud of what they’ve achieved. As the saying goes, you can’t guarantee success, but you can deserve it – and the Crows certainly do.

    Their future, by the way, is very bright. They don’t have much in the way of big retirements coming up, bar Scott Thompson who probably finishes up in a year or two.

    Meanwhile they have so much improvement to come from the likes of Charlie Cameron, Brad and Matt Crouch, Jake Lever, Wayne Milera, Mitch McGovern – oh, and the untapped talents of Curtly Hampton, Troy Menzel, Tom Doedee and Dean Gore.

    Adelaide, when you achieve the ultimate success – and I believe the day is not very far away – I’ll gladly tip my hat to you.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (31)

    • August 13th 2016 @ 6:14am
      Brinnx said | August 13th 2016 @ 6:14am | ! Report

      I would like to see them win it just to get up Dangerfield’s nose.

      Not that I begrudge him wanting to go home, and get a lot of cash for doing so, but for a lot of crows supporters it would add just a little layer of chocolate on top of the premiership pie to say- “see we didn’t really need you anyway Paddy, but you enjoy keeping a fading team relevant for the rest of your career”.

      • August 13th 2016 @ 5:16pm
        Bobby said | August 13th 2016 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

        Lol that irrelevant team has beaten the crows convincingly twice this year. Keep dreaming pal

        • August 15th 2016 @ 11:31pm
          Not Paddy said | August 15th 2016 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

          Geelong 4th Crows 3rd – jog on mate

          • September 11th 2016 @ 3:57pm
            Patrick Bateman said | September 11th 2016 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

            So, Cats were 2nd, Crows 5th champ.

    • August 13th 2016 @ 7:33am
      Jon Kau said | August 13th 2016 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      Thank you for writing this article. It is nice to see someone acknowledge what has happened, even if they dislike them.

      The Tippet saga was not well played, cost them dearly but continued on. Yes we did get annoyed this year (#freekick Hawks/Bulldogs), but that is the fans and media. The team saw something but let it go quickly.

      Resigning Jenkins and Crouch also adds value that these interstate players have found something they want to commit to.

      I don’t know if they can win this year, but would love them to win one in the next 3 years…maybe 2!

    • Roar Guru

      August 13th 2016 @ 8:19am
      gameofmarks said | August 13th 2016 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      And maybe the rise of Adelaide explains the demise of the WCE since round 12 when Don Pyke and the Adelaide Crows opened up the WCE and steam rolled them in the second half at Subiaco, something that left every WCE fan stunned and shocked.

      Who was actually the mastermind behind the rise of the WCE in 2015?

      The way the Croiws rebound/transition the ball from defence into their forward 50 looks like a carbon copy of the WCE in 2015!

    • August 13th 2016 @ 8:25am
      Sammy said | August 13th 2016 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      I will add to that that Demetriuo pressured Adelaide to sack Matt rendell who was arguably the premier recruiter and talent identifier in the AFL at the time over an absolute nothing and then happily sit back and let collingwood recruit him. The AFL also made the said dean bailey sit out football under suspension whilst he was an assisted with the crows over something that happened at melbourne football club that was also an absolute farce and the crows received no compensation from the AFL. So the article writer is very correct that the crows have taken more whacks in a few short years of which only 1 was of their own making…and they are still south Australia’s premier football club in the AFL

      • August 13th 2016 @ 9:55am
        Gecko said | August 13th 2016 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        At that time, Rendell privately voiced what all recruiters were thinking. And recruitment patterns show that the attitude of recruiters hasn’t changed since then. Rendell’s mistake was to speak openly.

      • August 15th 2016 @ 6:44pm
        Evolved said | August 15th 2016 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

        Ogilvie is a much better recruiter than Rendell…..Absolute gun to keep us in top 4 calculations with the talent that has walked out

    • August 13th 2016 @ 8:42am
      fairsuckofthesav said | August 13th 2016 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      A very nice article Josh particularly given your North loyalty. I will be hoping your boys do the job this weekend though I must admit that is to see the Crows rise further provided they win as well.

    • Roar Guru

      August 13th 2016 @ 8:52am
      Mister Football said | August 13th 2016 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Agree on all counts Josh.

      Firstly, I think most dogs fans would dislike Adelaide too (who twice have been our stumbling block on the way to our first grand final appearance in many decades).

      Also, it’s clear that with the establishment of two new clubs, Adelaide was just about the most affected club in losing top shelf players, and they have done extraordinarily well to keep it all together and challenge so quickly.

      Lastly, it’s an incredible feat that Australia’s 5th largest city can produce two football teams which are bigger than any other non-AFL team across the country.

      • August 13th 2016 @ 9:58am
        Gecko said | August 13th 2016 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        In terms of defying the odds, both Adelaide and the Bulldogs have been impressive. The ‘no excuses’ approach by their respective coaches sets them apart from the Scott twins, Leppa and Bucks.