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Your team's AFL report card: Adelaide Crows

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26th August, 2021

Adelaide, last year’s wooden spooners, jumped out of the blocks in 2021 and spent four of the first five weeks inside the top eight before reality struck.

For such a young team, it was an impressive start to the season and suggests that a good preseason and the enthusiasm of an unknown group of players caught their less-prepared opponents off guard.

In 2020 the club recruited 12 players and at the end of the year rejected two. In 2021 another 11 players – including two second-chancers from other clubs – were recruited, and the club spent the season getting games into these young legs to build for a successful future. This continued even into the final round, when Lachlan Gollant debuted.

Ben Keays of the Crows

(Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Season record

Win-loss record: 7-15 (2020: 3-14)
Ladder position: 15th (2020: 18th)
Results against top eight: 3-8 (for: 695, against: 1039)

Their results against top-eight sides is a little flattering, as two of these three wins were by one point and the third was by two goals, whereas all the losses – except for one tight match against cross-town rivals Port Adelaide – averaged a margin of over seven goals. Two of the three teams they beat squared the ledger by flogging them the second time around. The third top-eight team that they beat, Geelong, did not get a chance to avenge the defeat so were the only finals team to have a negative win-loss ratio against the Crows.

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Player stats

Played every game: Rory Laird, Paul Seedsman, Ben Keays, Harry Schoenberg and Jordon Butts, the last three all being second-year players.
AFL top-100 game players: Nil
AFL top-100 goalscorers: Taylor Walker, 489 (62nd). Walker started the year in excellent form but was suspended late in the year for using a racist slur.

To climb three places up the ladder with such a young team was an impressive effort. Retirement and delisting of some of their older players mean the maturing of the young players will continue to be the focus, and it will be interesting to measure the level of improvement in 2022.


David Mackay
Mackay played his first game in Round 1, 2008, and was a good loyal servant of the club during his 14-year career. He played 18 games in 2021 and during the year climbed past Michael Doughty and Richard Douglas to finish ninth on the Crows’ all-time game players list. Although mainly a defender or midfielder, he still managed 68 goals in his career and finished tied in 37th place with Nathan van Berlo and Chris Knights on the all-time top 100 goal kickers list.


Tom Lynch
Despite being two years older than Richmond’s Tom Lynch, he was generally known as the ‘other’ Tom Lynch due to his lower profile and the fact his change of club from St Kilda was more a second chance than a recruiting coup. Lynch still managed to gain the occasional headline, as he did with his ten-goal haul against Greater Western Sydney in 2013 when he went on to win Adelaide’s goal kicking that year. He also won the Showdown medal in 2016 when Adelaide played Port Adelaide in Round 2. The writing was on the wall, however, when a poor year as a connector in 2020 was followed by another one in 2021. He finished with 199 goals for the Crows, which places him in tenth place on Adelaide’s all-time goalscorers list.

Daniel Talia
Talia failed to play even one game in 2021 and so has been delisted.

Tyson Stengle
Played only 14 games in two years at Adelaide and none in 2021 after moving from Richmond in 2019.