Both the Adelaide Crows and the Gold Coast Suns are out of the finals race and probably can’t wait for this season to be over.
The Crows finish their campaign with a dead rubber against North Melbourne while the Suns finish theirs with a match against Sydney, which is unlikely to affect the top eight.
So both clubs will be looking ahead to the upcoming trade period and draft, but let’s go back for a little bit.
I’m sure many people will remember the 2018 AFL draft, which many labelled as the best draft class in that decade. What was talked about a lot in that draft was the amount of South Australians expected to be selected high up in that draft.
Three of the top five selections were from the SANFL with Jack Lukosius going to Gold Coast at pick two along with Izak Rankine at pick three, and Connor Rozee going to Port Adelaide at pick five.
It was also widely debated as to whether Adelaide or Port Adelaide would splash the cash and get one of those South Aussies.
The Power were able to get their way to pick five, which was obviously used for Connor Rozee, but the Crows decided not to, which might’ve been a mistake.
Jack Lukosius was recruited by Gold Coast from Woodville West Torrens as a key forward that could also play down back when needed, although he’s transitioned into a more permanent defender in recent years.
But I think that the Adelaide Crows should go out and try and sign Lukosius, and move him back down forward where people compared him to Nick Riewoldt.
Looking at the Crows’ current team, in the past five games, the average height of their front six was 189 centimetres, which is a bit taller than their opponents in the past five matches, with the front six of those teams having a 187-centimetre height average.
Some could then argue that they should play another short forward considering that the Crows have the least amount of marks inside 50 this season, and that they may as well have someone who can bring the ball to ground.
But I think they would be better off trying to find someone that can mark the ball.
Also, when a team is rebuilding, it would be better off to stick with one strategy, especially when the Crows have put faith in coach Matthew Nicks to get them back to the finals.
Going back to my previous point, Adelaide have taken the least amount of marks inside 50 this season, only having 5.7 a game. And it’s really cost them as they have scored the least amount of goals all season, only 6.8 a game to be exact. They desperately need another tall forward.
Looking at Lukosius, he’s the third highest mark taker in the league this season, behind only premium defenders Tom Stewart (Geelong) and Harris Andrews (Brisbane). He also had taken eight marks down forward including 14 scoring shots. That is not bad for a player who’s played in defence most of the season.
So he would help fix the Crows’ marking issues in the forward 50, but he’d have to adjust to playing back there again, especially his kicking for goal, which hasn’t been great at all this season, with three goals and 11 behinds, which was what forced the Suns to play him in defence.
But they might have lost patience a bit early with him. Matt Taberner from Fremantle had a reputation for poor kicking accuracy for a long time, but after sticking with him, he now he has a reputation of being a consistent forward that scores every game. Lukosius is still only 21 and still has plenty of potential.
Then there’s the issue of how much Adelaide would be willing to pay in order to secure the Suns’ utility. They do have a first-round draft pick, which will range from pick two to four. The Suns have two second-rounders or maybe a third-rounder of which one could be thrown in the deal.
The Suns have a history of undervaluing their players and overvaluing others. Remember the Lachie Weller pick two thing?
Lukosius still has a future up front like many saw in 2018. The Crows didn’t think he was worth it then, but with their issues in the forward line, they might think he’s worth it now.