AFLW 2018 team preview and predicted finish: Adelaide Crows

Joel Shepherd Roar Guru

By Joel Shepherd, Joel Shepherd is a Roar Guru

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    The Crows are an enigma. No one expected them to do well last year because South Australia’s development of women’s football has been, let’s face it, pathetic.

    Lacking local talent development, Adelaide were saved by several strokes of good fortune — the impressive contribution of their Northern Territory contingent, the manna from heaven that dropped Erin Phillips and Sarah Perkins into their laps, and the smarts of Bec Goddard, one of the few coaches to truly figure out where the standard was at last season and devise a playing style to match.

    In season two the concern was that the Crows wouldn’t get much out of the draft, but it seems they’ve dodged that bullet too — SA’s talent pool may be shallow, but there’s cream on top.

    Jess Allen is one of the best young talls in the game and gives the Crows options to push either her or their present ruck, Rhiannon Metcalfe, into the forward line.

    Jasmyn Hewett is new to the game, but tested near-top of multiple categories in the draft combine, and should strengthen an already strong forward line.

    Possibly Adelaide’s player of the draft is midfielder Eloise Jones, whose skills and smarts are already top notch, and should turn Adelaide’s midfield terrible twosome of Phillips and Marinoff into a threesome.

    There’s also a couple of former soccer players, Marijana Rajcic and Ruth Wallace, who’ve been tearing up the SANFL, and W-League players have a good record in the AFLW.

    Wallace is another forward, and Rajcic a strong-bodied midfielder, so not only have Adelaide made up for the loss of Kellie Gibson up front, they’ve significantly increased both forward options and midfield depth.

    The Crows’ backline looks mostly unchanged, but it was one of the best in the country last season, led by generals like Chelsea Randall and Courtney Cramey.

    Having said all that, there’s only room for two teams in the Grand Final, and someone has to miss out.

    This year Goddard’s tactics will no longer be a surprise, and the big gap between the Crows’ best players and their worst will be more fully exploited by the likes of Brisbane and Melbourne, who don’t suffer quite the same problem.

    And if one of Adelaide’s stars were injured, as always seems to happen to defending champions, they could be in real trouble.

    Prediction: 3rd.

    In addition to his interest in sport, Joel Shepherd is a professional Science Fiction author. You can read more by him here.

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • December 13th 2017 @ 9:20am
      Pedro The Fisherman said | December 13th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      Who could believe it – a non-Victorian side winning the inaugural title. How dare they! That just isn’t right. Everybody knows that nothing good in football could possibly come out of SA.

      • December 13th 2017 @ 7:45pm
        Joel Shepherd said | December 13th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

        If you’re suggesting my article is anti-SA in tone, I live in Adelaide 🙂

        • December 19th 2017 @ 11:01am
          Pedro The Fisherman said | December 19th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          Where you live doesn’t make your article any less anti-SA in tone.
          I also live in Adelaide and have family playing women’s footy in regular comps (sometimes 2 games per week).
          Every Saturday night there is a night game being played at my local oval in front of a reasonable crowd.
          There is nothing wrong with the women’s game, nor its development in SA.
          Get that chip off your shoulder!

          • January 2nd 2018 @ 2:10am
            Joel Shepherd said | January 2nd 2018 @ 2:10am | ! Report

            Sorry Pedro, but this is common knowledge. SA’s U-18 team was playing in the B-Leagues in the 2017 U-18 championships, against Tasmania, NT and NSW. I don’t think they’ll be there for long, but for now that’s where they are — check Google if you don’t believe me. The A-League is WA, Vic Country and Vic Metro, and Queensland. You can disagree all you like, but there it is. And for a football state with SA’s pedigree, it’s pathetic.

            • January 2nd 2018 @ 2:13am
              Joel Shepherd said | January 2nd 2018 @ 2:13am | ! Report

              It’s also the reason the Crows were joined with the Northern Territory — the AFL knew they’d get murdered without help from somewhere else, and they were right.

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