Ins: Hugh Bond (NAB Draft, Pick 50), Tyler Brown (Pre-Season Supplemental Selection), Billy Dowling (NAB Draft, Pick 43), Mark Keane (Pre-Season Supplemental Selection), Max Michalanney (NAB Draft, Pick 17, Father-Son), Izak Rankine (Trade, Gold Coast)
Outs: Luke Brown (Retired), Ben Davis (Delisted), Billy Frampton (Trade, Collingwood), James Rowe (Delisted), Brett Turner (Delisted), Fischer McAsey (Retired)
Draw (what teams twice) : Based on the new weighted fixture brought in for 2023, Adelaide will statistically have the 4th easiest draw. They will face Brisbane, Collingwood, Gold Coast, GWS, Port Adelaide, West Coast twice. The Crows will have a chance to start the season with a bang with 5 of their first 7 games played at Adelaide Oval.
Forwards: Darcy Fogarty, Lachlan Gollant, Elliot Himmelberg, Shane McAdam, Ned McHenry, Lachlan Murphy, Tariek Newchurch, Luke Pedlar, Josh Rachele, Izak Rankine, Riley Thilthorpe, Taylor Walker
Midfielders: Sam Berry, Hugh Bond, Tyler Brown, Brayden Cook, Matt Crouch, Billy Dowling, Jackson Hately, Ben Keays, Rory Laird, Luke Nankervis, Harry Schoenberg, Paul Seedsman*, Lachlan Sholl, Rory Sloane, Jake Soligo, Zac Taylor
Rucks: Reilly O’Brien, Kieran Strachan
Defence: James Borlase, Jordan Butts, Jordan Dawson, Tom Doedee, Will Hamill, Mitch Hinge, Chayce Jones, Mark Keane, Andrew McPherson, Max Michalanney, Wayne Milera, Nick Murray, Patrick Parnell, Brodie Smith, Josh Worrell
* Indicates Rookie Listed Player
Ones to watch: Adelaide knew what they wanted in Izak Rankine and gave up a lot to get him to West Lakes. There is no doubting Rankine’s potential, however, the Crows will be hoping he adds consistency to his already freakish ability. Josh Rachele should be even better after another pre-season. His start to last year was unbelievable before running out of steam after a few small injuries. Rory Sloane will be a great addition to the young Crows side with his leadership alone after missing a year with an ACL injury.
Strengths: Without doubt, Adelaide’s strength is their forward line. The progression of Darcy Fogarty in 2022 pleased the whole Crows fan base and coaching staff alike, with their patience in him finally paying off. In Fogarty, they have now found someone who can consistently help Taylor Walker up forward, especially as he reaches the final years in his career. Adding Izak Rankine and a fitter/stronger Josh Rachele only makes this forward line more dangerous, now having the ability to mop up at ground level proficiently, something they haven’t had since Eddie Betts left the club. Riley Thilthorpe continues to build and will look at being another tall target up forward whilst pinch hitting in the ruck.
Weaknesses: Being a young and developing list, the Crows have several weaknesses. Firstly, the gap between Adelaide’s best 15 players compared to the next 15 is quite significant. At such a high level, this gets found out regularly, especially in defence. Another weakness has been their ball movement from the midfield. With the forward line that the Crows have, they should be scoring more than 78pts per game which was their average across the season last year. Although Ben Keays and Rory Laird were excellent ball winners and tackling machines, they lacked the ability to hit their forwards up consistently.
General thoughts: Adelaide will be hoping their young backline continues to develop. New captain, Jordan Dawson had an excellent first year with Adelaide and if their young backline strengthens up, it could lead to Dawson becoming a Midfielder. This would significantly help their ball use going forward, with him being an elite left foot kick. Although the Crows are still a year or two off making finals, look forward to a big year from their two young midfield stars in Jake Soligo and Sam Berry who had a fantastic finish to 2022.
Coach Pressure Gauge: 6/10 – Whilst internally the board are happy with Matthew Nicks, history shows that slow rebuilds aren’t kind to coaches. With the inclusion of Rankine and the continued development of their younger players, the Crows will be expected to be between the 10-14 bracket before pushing for a finals spot next year.
Breakout year : Luke Pedlar, Wayne Milera
B&F Winner: Jordan Dawson
Rory Laird – $1,070,000
Jordan Dawson – $893,000
Jake Soligo – $514,000
Max Michalanney – $268,000
Finishing spot prediction: 13th