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Goody resists lure of coming home to coach

Written By malwan milad on Jumat, 17 April 2015 | 22.09

Demon's coaches Brendan McCartney, Simon Goodwin and Paul Roos chat during a training session at AAMI Park. Source: Getty Images

THE "fairytale" as Simon Goodwin puts it, would have him back at Adelaide one day as a coach with the club he devoted his entire playing career to.

It was a brilliant career: 275 games, two premierships, five All-Australians, three best-and-fairests and captain for the final three years before retiring in 2010.

By then Goodwin seemed destined to coach and had put the wheels in motion long before he finished playing by taking Adelaide's Monday training sessions and attending AFL coaching programs.

The Crows knew they had a coach in the making in their own backyard and twice they tried to get him home when he finished playing.

The first approach was made by then chief executive Steven Trigg in 2010, but as much as Goodwin loved the club he was hellbent on moving to Victoria to broaden his football horizons.

The second approach, which Goodwin describes as more of an "inquiry", was by board member and his good friend Mark Ricciuto in the days after Brenton Sanderson's sacking last year.

But this time the Crows were too late for Goodwin had committed to a five-year deal with Melbourne which included a succession plan to take over from Paul Roos as senior coach in 2017.

So instead Goodwin today returns to Adelaide as coach-in-waiting of the enemy and time will tell whether he and Melbourne, or Adelaide which appointed Phil Walsh and sits top of the table after a 2-0 start, got it right.

"I had been in discussions with Melbourne for a five or six week period and I was pretty clear in my mind of the vision and strategy that that was the club I wanted to be at," Goodwin told The Advertiser.

Goody with Bomber Thompson. Source: News Corp Australia

"Obviously the appeal of being under Paul Roos for a further two years and learning my craft a bit better was certainly really appealing to me.

"I knew there would be opportunities to potentially coach other clubs and obviously the fairytale of potentially one day being at Adelaide. Roo (Ricciuto) certainly did ring me at the time after Sando had been sacked to make an inquiry to see where I was at, and I told him pretty up front that I was pretty committed to Melbourne and that would be announced in the next few days.

"He was supportive of that and he understood where I was at in terms of my coaching and what I wanted to do.

"It wasn't like I knocked the Adelaide job back or anything like that, it was more an inquiry and I was committed to Melbourne and the program, vision and strategy moving forward."

Goodwin — who did two years of a teaching degree when he finished high school — was one of those footballers who always wanted to coach.

And four years from finishing playing, then Adelaide coach Neil Craig and fitness boss Charlie Walsh gave him an opportunity.

"They gave me some responsibility in some areas which was great development, and then doing the 'next coach' program was something I was really passionate about," he said.

"Also doing two years of a teaching degree when I finished school, some of the skills I learnt in those two years are really important for the coaching stuff."

Goodwin played under three coaches at Adelaide — Craig, Gary Ayres and Malcolm Blight who led the Crows to back-to-back flags in 1997-98.

Emotional Adelaide Crows captain Goodwin announces his retirement with coach Neil Craig. Source: News Limited

From Blight he learnt the importance of teaching the fundamentals of the game and from Craig, paying attention to detail and setting standards and behaviours to create a culture which led to finals in five of his seven years.

But it was always Goodwin's ambition to leave South Australia when he finished playing to see how other clubs did it.

"I grew up in Adelaide and loved the Adelaide Footy Club and had a great relationship with them," he said.

"But it was more to go and experience a broader football world, to go and see what other environments were like.

"It was a pretty fixed and strong philosophy around my time at Adelaide but I wanted to experience some other things both good and bad.

Goodwin snaps the ball. Source: News Limited

"Being in Melbourne gives you the opportunity to see as many live games as possible and understand the game better and the industry and people associated with it."

The club that came knocking was Essendon led by James Hird and which unbeknown to Goodwin was two years from descending into chaos. He would be asked to stand in as senior coach for the final round of the 2013 season.

When interviewed for the Melbourne job, Goodwin reportedly impressed Roos with his forthright answers regarding the now infamous supplements program at the Bombers.

It's a topic, Goodwin, 38, no longer wants to talk about but says he learnt plenty from working alongside experienced coaches at Windy Hill.

"I was very fortunate to be involved in a program with some great coaches, spending some time with Brendan McCartney and Mark Thompson and James Hird," he said.

"I learnt a lot from those people — especially Brendan and Bomber who had been involved in building pretty successful programs over a long period of time.

"Also taking a young group through a four-year process where they're now starting to develop into the type of player and team they want to become, so being involved in that journey was really exciting."

He is now working under one of the best ever coaches in Roos who will hand him the reins at Melbourne full-time from 2017.

Roos and Goodwin having a joke at Gosch's Paddock. Source: News Corp Australia

"He (Roos) is a terrific football person, he understands the game very well but he also understands people and what it takes to create a successful culture," Goodwin said.

"And that's really what he's been about implementing in the first 12 and a bit months — that real process about building a culture that will stand up for success in the future."

The Demons looked a million dollars in beating Gold Coast in Round 1 then fell away embarrassingly against GWS a week later.

Adelaide on the other hand could not have been more impressive in disposing of North Melbourne and Collingwood in a brilliant start to the season.

"We were really happy with the way we played in Round 1 and were excited by what we could deliver but the challenge is being able to do that on a consistent basis," Goodwin said. "The Crows are in terrific form, they've got all their good players playing well, they're playing a really attractive brand of footy and there's no doubt they'll be a big task for us this week."


22.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

It is still the VFL on Friday night

The Crows a lit-up Adelaide Oval after downing Collingwood in a Thursday night clash in 2014. Adelaide's teams are struggling to get Friday night matches. Picture: Sarah Reed Source: News Corp Australia

IF truth is the first casualty of war, how does the AFL's platform of equality hold up against the chase for television ratings and sponsorship dollars?

Friday Night Football is the AFL premier timeslot in the fixture. It delivers national free-to-air television coverage with maximum exposure, a dream offering any AFL club can make to its major sponsors.

To play on this big stage, the AFL executive demands a club deliver both on and off the field, with a competitive team and appeal to fill the terraces, bars and lounge rooms across the nation. Since 2001, seven of the 14 AFL premierships have been won by non-Victorian clubs. It is a 50-50 split along the expansion clubs and the traditional VFL clubs.

This should have led to a 50-50 share of the big stage on Friday Night Football. Not the case, however.

Since 2001, the eight non-Victorian clubs have had the least Friday Night Football exposure. Adelaide is the only team (with 33 FNF games) to outrank a Victorian club (Melbourne with 25) for matches on football's biggest and brightest stage.

Since 2001, there has been at least one Victorian-based club in every FNF game bar one — the Western Derby in Perth between West Coast and Fremantle in August 2005.

How could this be? Even during those grand battles between West Coast and Sydney in the mid-2000s, there was never an Eagles-Swans clash on Friday Night Football.

Despite its impressive record of consistently playing in AFL finals (all but two series since 2001), Sydney has played just 12 FNF matches.

Perhaps the logic is that there is more to lose than gain in Australia's biggest television market by having the Swans chase ratings on Friday night when New South Welshmen are tuned into the NRL.

And maybe the fact that Channel Seven's AFL coverage is produced by executives at HSV7 in Melbourne leads to at least one Victorian-based club featuring in FNF each week. After all, the AFL's biggest television ratings zone is Victoria.

New Adelaide Football Club chief executive Andrew Fagan, who hails from rugby, is two months away from his first experience having to work through the science of making a pitch to AFL fixture chief Simon Lethlean.

He has a recharged supporter base that is delivering the AFL's biggest average home attendance in a new venue that has fulfilled (and exceeded) all expectations bar one.

There was that hope that Adelaide Oval would deliver more Friday Night Football to South Australians.

Former AFL boss Andrew Demetriou did promise a Friday night Showdown opener (until he saw the merit of a Saturday fixture for a venue that had no trial events).

So Adelaide is owed one — perhaps a groundbreaking Good Friday night game at the Oval next year.

Fagan's approach at AFL House is to have the Crows — and SA football — rewarded for delivering results on and off the field.

"I know it's hard and complex with the fixture, but there also needs to be balance — and rewards for the teams that deserve them," Fagan said.

"There is no arguing that SA football is in a very healthy place with both clubs, Crows and Port Adelaide.

"The supporters of the Adelaide Football Club have done their bit in filling Adelaide Oval to justify having Friday Night Football regularly — and they want more. We will take that case to the AFL. It deserves strong consideration."

The bizarre note from this year's Friday Night Football calendar is how Port Adelaide was handed just two games on the premier stage.

This is despite the Power delivering the biggest surge in television ratings last season when Channel Seven dubbed Port Adelaide as the AFL's "most watchable" team.

Adelaide Oval has just two Friday Night Football games this season — one for each of the Crows and Power — despite the attention the city ground has garnered around the nation.

And the Oval does deliver an extraordinary backdrop (in vision and sound) for television.

The big winners in the Friday Night Football carve-up for this season are, with no surprise, Collingwood ... and Carlton. They each have six FNF games. Richmond has the most, seven.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan says the FNF rundown for this season was driven by "quirks in the draw" rather than any bias towards the Victorian-based clubs.

The push to deliver national, free-to-air telecasts from the Oval with major Saturday night games — such as the Port Adelaide-Sydney game last Saturday — has taken precedence over FNF from Adelaide.

"It is the way the fixture played out — this year," McLachlan said. "But we are keen — and the broadcasters are keen — on Friday Night Football from Adelaide Oval."

There is a quote to pin on the fridge — and recall the promise in late October when the AFL delivers its fixture for Season 2016.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - SHINING WITH VICTORIAN GLOW

Friday Night Football - the AFL's premier timeslot with national television coverage - has a strong Victorian agenda. Since 2001, only once has the home-and-away season had a Friday night match without a Victorian-based team.

SINCE 2001 .... how the 18 AFL clubs have featured in Friday Night Football during the home-and-away season.

Essendon 82

Collingwood 81

Carlton 56

Hawthorn 53

St Kilda 53

Geelong 51

Richmond 45

North Melbourne 37

W Bulldogs 36

ADELAIDE 33

Melbourne 25

West Coast 26

Fremantle 22

PORT ADELAIDE 15

Sydney 12

Brisbane 5

Gold Coast 0

GWS 0

WITH NO VICTORIAN TEAM

JUST once - the Western Derby between Fremantle and West Coast at Subiaco Oval in Perth on August 12, 2005.

THIS SEASON

CROWS: Round 19 (August 7) v Richmond at Adelaide Oval

POWER: Round 11 (June 12) v Geelong at Adelaide Oval

Round 21 (August 21) v Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium

AROUND THE LEAGUE

BRISBANE: 0

CARLTON: 6

COLLINGWOOD: 6

ESSENDON: 2

FREMANTLE: 1

GEELONG: 4

GOLD COAST: 0

GWS: 0

HAWTHORN: 4

MELBOURNE: 1

NORTH MELBOURNE: 2

RICHMOND: 7

ST KILDA: 1

SYDNEY: 3

WEST COAST: 2

W BULLDOGS: 0

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I HAVE a pretty simple line with the Patrick Dangerfield stuff, I'm not going to answer it."

CROWS coach PHIL WALSH on the question that remains unanswered at the Adelaide Football Club ... or does it?

REALITY BITES

BEST IS BEST

PORT ADELAIDE failed the "pressure test" on the field against AFL pacesetter Sydney at the weekend - and, for the first time in the Ken Hinkley era of the past three years, is facing the pressure test off the field of soaking up searching analysis (rather than rave reviews) of its work.

The players' reaction will be seen in the next three weeks with significant games against North Melbourne today, Hawthorn on Anzac Day and Adelaide in an increasingly fascinating Showdown on Sunday, May 3.

But the fans' responses - be it those who walked early from Adelaide Oval on Saturday night or those who talked loudly on radio or in social media - already reveal, in general, that some Power supporters have developed chips on their shoulders.

Their well-worn line that the AFL draw is tough for Port Adelaide carries no weight in defending their team. After all, to be considered the best, a team has to measure itself and succeed against the best. So far, the Power has fallen short. The Creed says something about that.

ON THE EDGE

WHAT is it with CHANNEL SEVEN this season as the AFL's official broadcast partner finds more and more ways to be "edgy" with its football coverage?

First, the decision to do an encore of last year's fifth-quarter duels between Seven reporter Mark Stevens and Carlton coach Michael Malthouse went well over the edge.

Now a couple of pieces on Seven's Sunday show Game Day program beg reflection.

Sitting former Crows coach Brenton Sanderson between new Adelaide captain Taylor Walker and Crows midfielder Rory Sloane must have sounded dramatic at the production meeting, but it looked very, very awkward on the set and across the television screen. Still, some would say that is what "edgy" television is all about.

More concerning - particularly if Seven thought it was amusing - was to have a group of AFL stars reading and reacting to appalling Tweets sent to their Twitter accounts. If the players have been smart enough to not react to such trolling in social media, why would they put themselves up for such a segment on national television? And does Seven want to encourage such behaviour on Twitter?

POWER PLAY

JUST when SANFL president JOHN OLSEN must be thinking the toughest political battles in SA football - such as Adelaide Oval, AFL licences and AFL reserves teams in the SANFL - are finally behind him, the reality that money creates division is starting to brew in the State league.

Olsen's practical approach to the $71 million cash flow from selling the Football Park precinct is to have the money clear the SANFL's $26 million debt profile, set up a "future fund" and tackle the $16 million debt on the eight SANFL club books.

Olsen does have conditions on how the SA Football Commission will hand the money to the clubs. There are strict strings attached. Basically, the money can only be used to clear financial obligations such as tax, superannuation and loans or to invest in projects that generate cash but not diminish capital. The money will be allocated on a year-by-year basis - starting with a $125,000 allowance in October 2016 rising to $425,000 in October 2022.

But the need for quick cash - and big cash for big projects - may have some SANFL clubs wanting to lean on the commission for more money ... and soon. The script never changes.

THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK

"THE cheapest and best pre-game entertainment is a curtain raiser ending about 20 minutes before the main match. Time to bring them back." - LEIGH MATTHEWS

GEELONG captain JOEL SELWOOD must have the thickest forehead in world sport. His head-on-head collision with team-mate Mitch Clark at Kardinia Park at the weekend forced the new Cats forward to ground and off the ground with the blood rule. And Selwood? He just kept chasing the ball as if nothing had happened. Amazing.

HE SAID IT

"THEY look very similar to what we did last year. Walshy is a good coach, he is well structured and if they (the Crows) don't do something right, he won't be able to sleep for a few nights.

"He's had a big influence on both clubs and definitely has brought some of the Port Adelaide culture over there. They had some things to change and they've been changing them. It's working out from them ... and good on them."

PORT ADELAIDE midfielder JARED POLEC on the influence of new Adelaide coach Phil Walsh at West Lakes.

QUESTION(S) OF THE WEEK

GENERALISATIONS are so dangerous. But why is it that when the Crows are doing well and the Power is struggling - and vice versa - Adelaide fans prefer to talk about Port Adelaide rather than their own team's new fortunes? Strange isn't it?

INTERESTING that when Carlton coach MICHAEL MALTHOUSE took issue with free agency - declaring no free agent is being lured to Princes Park from where Eddie Betts and Jarrad Waite used free agency to move to Adelaide and North Melbourne - no-one took him up on Collingwood losing free-agent DALE THOMAS to the Blues.

Originally published as It is still the VFL on Friday night
22.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Water boy is Bombers̢۪ new hero

Written By malwan milad on Rabu, 15 April 2015 | 22.09

AFL: Essendon defender Cale Hooker discusses his fairytale goal against Hawthorn.

Cale Hooker celebrates his matchwinning goal against Hawthorn with Bomber fans and trainer Brad Holt. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: News Corp Australia

THERE could be a sequel on the way to Adam Sandler's comedy hit The Water Boy — starring Essendon's newest unexpected celebrity.

Trainer Brad Holt became an instant star after he was captured by Herald Sun photographer Wayne Ludbey getting caught up in the moment when the Bombers hit the lead on Sunday.

Holt, a lifelong Essendon fan, has been ribbed by Bombers players and recognised by strangers after Cale Hooker kicked the matchwinning goal.

"It's a great photo but I'm just amazed how much and how quickly it's gained legs," he said.

"My girlfriend was the one that told me about it and has actually saved it as her screen saver on her work computer. A lot of friends got into me after the game too because apparently you can see me on the telecast celebrating behind Hooksy as well."

Holt said it was tough to concentrate on the job of attending players as the clock ticked down — and revealed he had joked with Hooker about his matchwinning play before it happened.

"Naturally you do want to watch and look where the next play can go although I'd like to think I did a good job staying focussed on the task at hand.

"I remember thinking it wasn't going to be a long quarter as they were catching up. Then I noticed Hooksy come down. While I was out there running back I joked with him saying 'Down here again?', as he's done it a few times at training and I vaguely remember seeing him down there for a play against Sydney.

"Then obviously when he kicked it, it just felt like a weight was lifted and I was so happy for the boys. I felt we really needed this one."

Holt has been a Bombers trainer and myotherapist since 2009 and runs a mobile massage and myotherapy service called ACTION Myotherapy. His clients include some Essendon players.

Originally published as Water boy is Bombers' new hero

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Power has no issue with Etihad surface

Michael Close grabs his leg after injuring it at Etihad Stadium. Photo: Michael Klein. Source: News Corp Australia

PORT Adelaide has no concerns over playing at Etihad Stadium on Saturday despite the fallout from the injury to Brisbane forward Michael Close.

Close ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament when he was trying to complete a mark near the boundary and appeared to be tripped up by the artificial grass that meets the real grass near the wing.

But Power vice captain Brad Ebert said the players — as much as they felt for Close — had spent little time worrying over the surface at the Melbourne docklands venue.

``I'm not too concerned about it,'' Ebert said. ``I think Etihad has had its issues over the years but over the past few years I've felt that it's been a pretty strong surface.

``Personally, I'm not too worried about it. Knee injuries are shocking things to happen within the game but you see it happen at a number of grounds so I'm not overly concerned just about Etihad.''

Ebert's calls come after coaching director Shaun Hart previously told The Advertiser the club had full trust in the AFL to resolve the issue.

Etihad Stadium chief Paul Sergeant said he would remove the recently laid artificial turf.

Brisbane was furious about the injury to Close, 20, who now faces a year on the sidelines.

It is understood it is thinking about lodging a claim for compensation of up to $100,000.

Lions chief Greg Swann has been seeking legal advice on the matter and has been blunt in wanting compensation.

``We want to be compensated,'' he said. ``This is going to be pretty costly for us.''

Other players in the dispute are the players union, the AFL Players' Association, and Sergeant said he would work with both the league and the union to find all the background information relating to the Close case and also assist with any testing.

The AFLPA has offered to provide Close with legal advice.

The Lions has watched the incident in slow motion and believe the injury happened because Close's heal caught the edge of the artificial turf that run along the fence line.

Most grounds have an artificial lining running around the boundary to prevent mud around the bench and to allow heavy work vehicles to access the ground.

The MCG, The Gabba and Adelaide Oval all have artificial turf to protect the real turf but those doesn't extend as wide as at Etihad.


22.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Sam has faith in AFL return

Written By malwan milad on Selasa, 14 April 2015 | 22.09

Port player Sam Colquhoun running laps at Alberton Oval. Photo: Campbell Brodie. Source: News Corp Australia

PORT Adelaide's Sam Colquhoun is allowing himself to think of a return to the AFL after a successful return to football in the club's SANFL side.

Colquhoun, 20, was on the fringe of selection early last year before suffering season-ending knee injury in Round 7.

But the former SA MVP at the 2012 championship is growing in confidence after playing in the reserves last weekend and is confident he will soon challenge for selection with the Power.

``It was my first proper hit-out for points against an opposition and it was really great to get out there and be with the boys for a game,'' Colquhoun said. ``I didn't even notice the knee after about 30 seconds.

``You trust the rehab that you've done.

``I felt like I wasn't too far off it and I've done a lot of (match) simulation with the AFL guys.

``I felt quite comfortable out there.''

Colquhoun realises Port is a difficult side to break into: any team that makes a preliminary finals one season will have few openings the next, unless there is a raft of retirements.

Port's side is virtually unchanged from last season; if anything, its additions such as Paddy Ryder from Essendon had made it more difficult to break in.

``Any good side in the AFL has got to have a lot of depth,'' Colquhoun said. ``I'm just taking it week by week ... do what I can to get up to the AFL.''

Colquhoun, who was recruited from Central District, has played 10 AFL matches for Port Adelaide.

Colquhoun, 20, was on the fringe of selection early last year before a season-ending knee injury in round seven.

But he is growing in confidence.

"It was my first proper hit-out for points against an opposition and it was really great to get out there," he said.


22.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Roos history means nothing for Port

AFL: Port Adelaide defender Tom Jonas says the side are happy to have played two tough sides in the opening rounds of the season

Matthew Lobbe is trying to prove his fitness. Picture: Sarah Reed Source: News Corp Australia

PHYSICAL grunt is on top of the agenda as Port Adelaide prepares to stop its season slipping away for North Melbourne at the Docklands on Saturday night.

Skills, tactics or set-ups will take a back seat after this week's review as the club has analysed its most urgent shortcomings from losses in the first two matches of the season.

The Power were down both in contested ball and tackles against Sydney and those numbers have been the focus this week as they reviewed last week's loss and get ready for the Kangaroos.

Coaching director and former Brisbane champion Shaun Hart said the clubs' recent history would barely rate a mention as they build up for the weekend's match.

"We'll be really keen on making sure our contest statistics are good, our efficiency inside 50 is good and there will be a number of things that we'll be focusing on,'' Hart said.

"Those are the really the important statistics as to who wins the footy games on Saturday night."

What makes the matter worse is the injury cloud hovering over ruckman Matthew Lobbe.

Whether or not he plays shapes as a key to the match, because he is one of the players the Power can least afford to be on the sidelines.

Without him, there will be an even greater importance of winning the loose ball, because there is nobody else from Alberton who gives the onballers the silver service that Lobbe provides.

The club is unconcerned about its poor track record against the Roos, which reads eight wins and 21 losses.

"If we get those right, the historical statistics won't matter at all," Hart said.

"I think the media builds that stuff up (track records) and I don't think it's got any credibility.

"The reality says that statistics and history are just that.

"They don't relate to the current day and the reality for us in club land is that the only statistics that only matter are the ones against the Kangaroos on Saturday night.

"It comes to the current day. You look at Kane Cornes playing on (Fremantle's) Stephen Hill. Most of the time he's done an OK job. But late last year Stephen Hill had a very good game

"On any given day, like that great movie suggests, things can change and be different.''

Outside of the hard side of the game, Port is desperate to rectify its efficiency of its inside-50s.

The ball was banged in there often enough against the Swans, but yielded a horror return — Port kicked just six goals from 62 entries into attack while Sydney managed 14 goals from 53.

"Last week we had some numbers that we've talked about,'' Hart said. "We had a lot of entries, but what did we do with those entries and how efficient were we with them?

"They're the sort of things we focus on and if we get those things right, history won't have anything to say with what happens on Saturday night.''

PORT ADELAIDE v NORTH MELBOURNE

Port wins: 8

North wins: 21

PAST FIVE

Port Adelaide 1

North Melbourne 4


22.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Crows want answer on Dangerfield

Written By malwan milad on Kamis, 09 April 2015 | 22.09

AFL: Patrick Dangerfield has produced a brilliant goal for the Crows in their 77-point thrashing of North Melbourne.

Patrick Dangerfield at AAMI Stadium. The Crows star is yet to decide where he'll be playing beyond 2015. Picture: Stephen Laffer Source: News Corp Australia

ADELAIDE wants Patrick Dangerfield to decide his future by midway through the season as the superstar free agent weighs up a move to Geelong.

Patrick Dangerfield celebrates a goal — that was later disallowed — against the Kangas. Picture: Mark Brake Source: News Corp Australia

The Crows remain hopeful a strong start to the season under new coach Phil Walsh can sway the 25-year-old to recommit, despite the lure of being closer to family in Victoria.

While the club would not put a formal deadline on Dangerfield, an early call from the superstar midfielder would give the Crows' more time to prepare raids on replacement talent.

Football director Mark Ricciuto said he believed Dangerfield was a 50 per cent chance of leaving at season's end., with Hawthorn also linked to the gun ball-winner.

Dangerfield is a free agent, meaning the Crows' would be compensated with a first-round draft pick if he departed after eight years at Adelaide.

His move would clear up almost one million dollars in Adelaide's salary cap, allowing the Crows to chase out-of-contract Brisbane wingman James Aish.

Aish, 19, has put contract talks with the Lions on hold and has attracted the interest of Melbourne-based clubs, including Collingwood.

Ricciuto said the Crows would prefer to know what Dangerfield was doing in the first half of the season.

"Look, we don't know what he is doing, he tells us he hasn't made his mind up and we respect that," Ricciuto said on Triple M.

"Of course you are concerned until he signs, but I'm not going to let it ruin my year, that's for sure and the club is not going to either.

"He is a great lad 'Danger', he looks you in the eye and tells you the truth, so hopefully, by a quarter of the way or half way through the year, it will be tidied up one way or another."

Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane both remain out of contract. Picture: Sarah Reed Source: News Corp Australia

Pressed on what he thought Dangerfield would do, stay or go, Ricciuto said: "I'd definitely say 50-50".

However, fellow gun midfielder Rory Sloane is believed to be on the verge of re-signing at the Crows, despite some preliminary interest from St Kilda.

Ricciuto said the signs were positive Sloane would re-sign.

"I'd be surprised if Sloaney goes, he has always talked about staying in Adelaide and being a one-club player," Ricciuto said.

"So, he's probably doing what most players do and is trying to get what he can out of the deal.

"The best thing that can happen to Adelaide is a great start to the year, so the coach is happy, the players play well, it's a great stadium, it's a good place to live.

"Hopefully, both of those players will be one-club players."

Originally published as Crows want answer on Dangerfield
22.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Streaks of Carey run through Walker

Taylor Walker takes a big grab at Adelaide Oval against the Kangaroos. Source: Getty Images

AFL: Collingwood forward Travis Cloke admits he was impressed by the Adelaide Crows after their big win over North Melbourne but he says the club are more focused on their own structures this early in the season.

WHEN Brisbane champion Jonathan Brown says he sees some elements of Wayne Carey's all-star game in Taylor Walker, you know you have seen something special.

The just-retired Brown made the observation after Walker's domination of North Melbourne for the Crows in the round one match at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Walker's remarkable 22-disposal, 15-mark, 6 goal performance in his first game as Adelaide captain was one for the ages.

Apart from lighting up the scoreboard and inspiring the Crows to a 77-point win, the 713 metres gained for his team was the second-most ever recorded by a key forward.

Since Champion Data started recording statistics in 1999, only Sydney star Lance Franklin has chalked up more metres in a match for his side.

Franklin gained 741 metres for Hawthorn against Essendon in 2010.

Walker's big day out against the Kangaroos also moved him into third place in Champion Data ranking points by a Crows key forward, with 177, while his 15 marks were the second-most recorded by a tall Adelaide forward.

Walker holds the record since 1999 with his 16 grabs against Melbourne in round 22, 2012.

Team-mate Patrick Dangerfield described Walker's performance as "unbelievable'' and noted if he had kicked straight he "would have kicked 10 (goals)''.

"He really took the game by the scruff of the neck,'' Dangerfield said.

Walker's supreme display was Carey-esque.

The number crunch. Source: Supplied

With the former North and Adelaide star — regarded as the greatest key forward to play the game — watching from the stands, Walker put on a show.

Carey described Walker's display as worthy of the three Brownlow Medal votes and his fellow Triple M radio commentator Brian Taylor joined Brown in noting there were shades of Carey in the way he took control of the game.

Walker was targeted by his team-mates inside 50 a round-high 15 times and the Crows scored from 80 per cent of the attacks which went through him — the best percentage in round one.

Apart from beating opponents Joel Tippett, Scott Thompson and Michael Firrito in one-on-one contests, Walker ran them off their legs.

He showed no signs of the knee reconstruction that destroyed his 2013 season and sidelined him for the first eight rounds last year.

Nine of his 15 marks were taken inside Adelaide's attacking 50m arc but six were taken outside of it, including two in the Crows' defensive half.

Walker, 24, has never looked fitter and his ability to cover the ground justified his off-season decision to get miles into his legs rather than build himself up any more physically.

Port Adelaide defender Jackson Trengove joined the chorus of Walker backslappers after his mighty round one showing.

"I watched him in the first half and he looked awesome,'' said Trengove.

"His game excites everyone, I don't think there is any person who could say they don't like watching Taylor Walker play."


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VB the forgotten Crow weapon

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 04 April 2015 | 22.09

Nathan van Berlo training at Adelaide Oval. Picture: Stephen Laffer Source: News Limited

ADELAIDE has identified former captain Nathan van Berlo as its underrated and almost secret weapon as it prepares for its season opener against North Melbourne at Adelaide Oval today.

Van Berlo completed a strong pre-season after missing all of last year to an Achilles injury, and those who have watched him closely say he is back to his old best.

He remains one of the fittest and dedicated players on the Crows list, much like Brett Burton before him, and assistant coach Matthew Clarke said he couldn't have impressed more over summer.

``It's sort of slipped under the radar a little bit (van Berlo's return),'' Clarke said. ``Because his pre-season has just been so seamless.

``I guess we've forgotten that he's been out for quite a while.

``But he's done all the work and he's obviously a super professional and there are a number of examples of guys coming back from that injury now.

``He'll be ready. He'll be fine and we wish him really well.

``He's moving pretty well. Come out on the training track and see if you can keep up with him.

``He's done really well. He's flying.''

The calls on van Berlo comes as the Crows gave Adelaide's Oval surface a high rating despite a major event being held there only days before their first match.

It reinforces the venues ability to continue to grow by adding midweek and non-football or cricket matches.

``Surface looks really good,'' Clarke said. ``In fact most of the players were actually commenting that it's probably a bit softer than it was last year.

``Obviously last year was the first year (of AFL football at the ground) and it's had another year to bed in.

``It's come up really well.''

The other two players who will be watched closely are former Hawk Kyle Cheney, who will hold down a key defensive post, and fellow backman Kyle Hartigan, who missed the back of last season to injury.

Clarke was confident both were primed to make an immediate impression.

And then there's Cam Ellis-Yolmen, who made headlines during the practice matches for his outstanding form.

He has only one game to his name, but Clarke was confident he would not be flustered by the occasion today.

``His a fairly relaxed character,'' Clarke said. ``I think he will handle it okay. He has played his first game, last year, but this will be a really big opportunity for him.

``He deserves the opportunity. He's played really well in the pre-season and that was put on the table early — that form will be rewarded — and it has in his case.


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Johnson eager to atone against Power

Fremantle Dockers defender Michael Johnson returns to footy this weekend. Source: News Corp Australia

FREMANTLE defender Michael Johnson was in agony after back surgery last September but it didn't hurt as much as sitting out straight-sets finals defeats.

The star linkman returns for a first chance at redemption against Port Adelaide's powerhouse forwards in a season opening blockbuster at Subiaco where home ground advantage has been somewhat neutralised.

It is Port's third visit to confront the Dockers in their past three home engagements but Fremantle guards a healthy first-up record with opening week victories in the past six seasons, the best of any current AFL squads.

"I think every game is a big game and the competition is getting harder and harder to win," the 30-year-old said.

"We have worked hard over the last few weeks in the NAB Cup against quality teams and we've been focusing on Port Adelaide, even though we do have some big games coming up."

The 2013 All-Australian defender conceded early wins were vital to hopes of another top-four finish and an important double finals chance through September.

"We haven't really thought of it in any way but you always want to start the year off on a high and with four points," Johnson said.

"You train all pre-season for this day and it is a bonus if you walk away with four points.

"It's never that we think about the home ground advantage and all of that, being Round 1 it's all the hard work you put in over the pre-season and you just hope that it all falls into place on the day."

Johnson said there had been an emphasis on goalkicking over the summer.

Fremantle virtually booted itself out of a preliminary final last year when it managed 6.11 to half-time against the freewheeling Port's 3.5 with the Dockers eventually going down by 22 points, 15.15 (105) to 11.17 (83).

More notoriously the Dockers butchered 17 set-shots for just 6.3 in their 15-point Grand Final loss to Hawthorn two years ago.

Despite the emphasis on finishing, the Dockers 19-point win over West Coast in the last NAB game a fortnight back was marred with 14.17.

"Everything has been stepped up and that is the way we move the ball, the way we finish and chuck in your stoppages and rebound 50s," Johnson said.

"We should be improving and goalkicking is one of those things in the past that has hurt us and as a player you always want to improve your game.

"That goes for anyone that can end up forward or with a shot on goal.

"I know the forwards have been working hard ... on their routines and on their goalkicking and time will tell, especially late in quarters and later in the game when games are on the line in a close match.

"It's one of those skills we needed to improve ... I think we're heading the right way."

Johnson, a spiritual Dockers leader, is an out of contract free agent at the end of a season and could play his 200th game in round 10 if he can remain injury free.

Originally published as Johnson eager to atone against Power
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