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Opinion

My solutions to the maddening malaise at the Adelaide Crows

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20th August, 2020
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The Adelaide Crows are a proud club, who for the duration of their tenure in the AFL have set an extremely high standard in their conduct and their expectations.

They famously sacked Brenton Sanderson after he failed to return to finals two seasons after they went within a kick of going to the finals.

The Crows have put forward their most meek performances in club history to leave them staring at the first winless season in nearly 60 years (the Fitzroy Lions did so in 1964).

This ignominious trophy is a testament to how far the Crows have fallen from their 2017 highs. But the Crows have the opportunity to set themselves up extremely well for the future in this year’s trade period and draft.

If the Crows wish to fix themselves, here’s what they should do.

Step 1: Turn their pick ten into two first-round picks
The Geelong Cats are extremely flush with draft capital thanks to a fortuitous trade they made with the West Coast Eagles for Tim Kelly. In order to build a stronger draft hand they should offer pick ten and one of their second-round picks to Geelong in return for both of their first-round picks.

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This would leave them with a free run at the best young talent from around the country, and could even be used to build strength for next year’s draft should they decide to have more picks in a draft that isn’t so compromised.

Step 2: Trade out the ageing warriors
Unfortunately for a lot of the talent the Crows have brought in over the last few years, it hasn’t worked out for them. As such they should aim to move on the talent that lacks the intangible leadership capabilities that Adelaide so desire. I’m of course referring to players like Taylor Walker, Bryce Gibbs, Kyle Hartigan and David McKay.

As to what sort of clubs would take these players, I’m not sure. They’re all great at their best but their best is a long way behind them. However, Brisbane could be a good fit for Walker. They have a need for key forwards and at his best he could easily kick 40-50 goals.

As for most of their ageing talent, they only get pennies on the dollar. The two players that are untouchable are Rory Sloane and Riley O’Brien. Unless a trade comes through that is a godfather offer, they should not be on the table.

Step 3: Unload the Crouch brothers
Brad and Matt Crouch have tried their hearts out for Adelaide but they do not give the midfield a unique look.

Brad Crouch

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

They’re slow and they gather large possession tallies despite not doing anything with those possessions. Clubs such as Essendon and Carlton would jump at the opportunity to have such accomplished players on their list. The question is, would they pay enough for Adelaide to let them go?

Step 4: Review every board position and trim the fat
The notorious camp established by the Adelaide Crows has been identified as the root cause of their problems. The club should therefore apologise.

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Secondly, the Crows should also remove Mark Ricciuto as a director. He blows a lot of smoke and as a result damages the morale of the footy club.

So that’s what the Crows should do to fix their position. That would serve them in good stead for the future.