For ten AFL clubs the 2019 season is officially over and the reviews, planning and cleanout is well underway in preparation for the 2020 season, and while there is still plenty of activity to be played out, we can already access some of the impacts on the club’s elite 100 players.
At Adelaide, Richard Douglas, whose career of 246 games was bookended by three games in his first year (2006) and nine in his last year, has been declared surplus to requirements and delisted and – despite his desire to continue on – will find it difficult to find a new home.
A one AFL club player recruited from the Calder Cannons as the number 15 draft pick in the 2005 national draft, Douglas finished his career as the ninth greatest game player for the Crows and will be secure as a top ten elite game player for at least the next few years.
Andy Otten, who played only three games late in the season to take his career total to 109 games, is in equal 49th position on the all-time games played list for Adelaide. His TAC Cup team was the Oakleigh Chargers, and he arrived at Adelaide in 2007 as national draft pick number 27.
He made his debut in Round 12, 2008 and played two games. After a 24-round season in 2009 (his best ever) he missed all of 2010 and due to injury and form took ten years to accumulate his 109 games and 38 goals.
Now that he has retired, his time as a member of the elite top 50 game players may be limited, as Matt Crouch (109 games), Kyle Hartigan (101) and Rory Atkins (97) with reasonable fitness and form could all be expected to surpass his total by mid-season 2020.
At the lower end of the tree, Paul Seedsman, Riley Knight and Hugh Greenwood all played enough games to gain a seat at the next top 100 Crow game players dinner.
From a Crow top 100 goal scorers perspective, by the end of the season, the Crows could boast three of the top four goalkickers of all time at the club with Taylor Walker (43 goals from 22 games), Eddie Betts (37 goals from 21 games) and Josh Jenkins (22 goals from 11 games) all achieving serviceable results for the year.
On the AFL all-time goalscorers list, the Crows are well represented with Eddie Betts finishing the year on exactly 600 goals and 33rd position and Tex making the AFL top 100 goal scorers list for the first time, and finishing the year in 89th place.
At the Crows, Walker now needs only 15 goals to take over the mantle of the club’s greatest ever goalscorer from 1990s legend and heartthrob Tony Modra.
Further down the Crows’ goalkicking list, reliable regular goal scorer Tom Lynch managed 17 goals from his limited season of 16 games, and in doing so passed Jason Porplyzia. An equally stellar performance in 2020 should see Lynch pass both Kurt Tippett and Tyson Edwards on the Crows’ elite goal scorers list and climb into Adelaide’s top ten goalscorers of all time.
It will be interesting to see if all four top ten goal scorers can be fitted into the team in 2020.