Woes for the Crows continue
The Clemente Code by William Clemente
Ever since the surprising walloping the Crows received to the hands of Richmond in the 2017 Grand Final, it has been a very tough road for Adelaide which has no signs of exits.
A twelfth finish in 2018, eleventh in 2019 and the wooden spoon last season, it has been a dramatic and escalated decline as they triumphed as minor premiers in 2017 to claim the McClelland Trophy. So far in this action-packed 2021 season, proceedings commenced optimistically for the Crows as they were three wins to one loss after the first four rounds. Perhaps it was an indication that the extreme woe of the last few season is maybe past forgettable history for this proud club, however after four consecutive defeats, it suggests that their woes and struggles are still staring them in the eyes.
Where did it go wrong for the Crows? Why did it go awfully wrong? As a passionate and die-hard Crow’s supporter this is not an easy piece to write. Adelaide faced a lot of trauma, the murder of coach Phil Walsh and the death of assistant coach Dean Bailey was devasting for the club, their players and their faithful. However, they showed resilience by recording an extremely successful 2017 season, even though it came to an unconventional conclusion. But that is not where it went wrong.
Their 2018 Pre-Season camp conducted by Collective Minds in Northern Queensland is a strong attributer to their extreme dip in form and self-esteem. It was a camp designed to improve the mental strength and capabilities of the players but did the opposite as many were severally traumatised. Head of Football for Adelaide, Brett Burton was put on the chopping block in relation to this.
The loss of star players such as Charlie Cameroon, Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Alex Keath and Jake Lever has also been a major contributor as their list was severely wounded. The conclusion of 2019 saw Don Pyke step down as coach and former Port Adelaide and GWS assistant, Matthew Nicks has been entrusted to nurse a new era at the Adelaide Football Club.
This current season has shown some positive signs thus far, but their struggles of the last few season are influencing their results on the field. Last weekend’s Showdown 49 showcased that Adelaide still have an incredibly long journey to endure to return to the form their used to. Their 49-point defeat to the Power was a tough game to endure. It showcased their current inability to notch effective forward 50 entries. Taylor Walker played his most mediocre game of the season as he remained goalless. As the Power have a strong midfield, they showed their dominance; the young Crows parading the midfield led by captain Rory Sloane were simply outplayed. On paper, Adelaide has a decent forward-line led by Walker. The addition of 18-year-old number two draft pick, Riley Thilthorpe looks to be a future clubman and star. However, the way you win games is peppering the scoreboard and perhaps the missing ingredient that could cure their woes is some finesse and compose in their midfield to create better scoring opportunities.
Adelaide currently has the youngest team in the competition, the woes are most definitely going to continue but it is seen as an investment into the club’s playing future. Nicks certainly has a gargantuan task on his hands to build a positive future for Adelaide.