Adelaide Crows: from AFL grand finalists to no-hopers – The Guardian

Their hubbed presence on the Gold Coast is neither reason nor excuse; the Dockers are even further from home and life in Queensland has done no harm to the Crows city rivals, Port Adelaide.

The Crows were stunning in their ineptitude on Sunday: essential skill errors, missed targets, missed deals with, laughably bad kicking for goal. Fremantle were no excellent either however Adelaide trumped them in the woeful stakes. The Crows are formally the worst group of 2020; its hard to consider a more mediocre clothing given that Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast fielded young boys versus guys in their developmental years.

Its never smart to anticipate much when 17th plays 18th 5 rounds into a season, both clubs seeking their very first success, however the tripe dished up at Metricon Stadium was so excruciating that any expectation ought to henceforth cease for either club in 2020. As for the Crows, one objective at the half-time siren and no goals in the last quarter ought to come as no surprise from a group showing no heart. More damning than any fact, there seems no pride in performance from the supposed pride of South Australia.

Adelaides very first order of organisation after the 2017 season was to use consultancy group Collective Mind, which choreographed the now infamous pre-season camp the following year. Gamers were supposedly confronted by soldiers with fake guns, connected to trees and made to listen to the Richmond club tune on loop, blindfolded.

Crows director and club great, Mark Ricciuto, raised eyebrows on live radio recently when implicating high-profile departures of being money starving, revealing dollar amounts of gamer wages to boot. Ricciutos remarks were identified “appalling”, “insulting” and “unbecoming” in numerous quarters, with veteran AFL journalist Caroline Wilson saying the 2003 Brownlow medalist has actually stopped working to “accept or acknowledge that Adelaide have a problem”.

Practically three years have passed, and the connection at the Adelaide Football Club is still no place to be found.

Adelaide Crows players leave the field after yet another defeat. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
There is more to Adelaides fall from grace than the shutting of premiership windows or the peaks and troughs of a supposedly equalised competitors. “When you stroll into the Adelaide Football Club, its not an especially warm place,” double Norm Smith medalist, Andrew McLeod, revealed last month.

The Crows might have been the AFLs basic bearers in 2017 however, as Richmond identified at the MCG, the fractures were already starting to show. Jake Levers discontent and the inevitability of his impending departure, formed a rift in the playing group, one that the captain of the time, Taylor Walker, fuelled with his unsuccessful demands to have Lever axed for the grand last. The Crows have been divided since, with attempts to steady the ship failing or worsening an already bad scenario.

“When you walk into the Adelaide Football Club, its not a particularly warm place,” dual Norm Smith medalist, Andrew McLeod, exposed last month. If Hawthorn ended up being known as a location club during their golden run, the Crows are now a departure club.

Adelaides internal review, commissioned late last year after missing out on the finals for successive seasons, expense head of football, Brett Burton, and assistant coach, Scott Camporeale, their tasks. If Hawthorn became known as a destination club during their golden run, the Crows are now a departure club.

Put delicately, the Crows are reconstructing. Its stated you have to go there to come back, but on the evidence of Sundays soulless loss to Fremantle its anybodys guess how far the Crows will plummet prior to turning the corner.

At half-time of the 2017 AFL grand final Richmond led Adelaide by 9 points but it might as well have been 900. The Tigers looked at a challenger unravelling and understood the premiership trophy was theirs for the taking. “Theyre squabbling, theyre arguing, theyve lost their connection,” Richmond players provided, prior to resurfacing for the second half and pounding the Crows into the MCG turf. Practically 3 years have passed, and the connection at the Adelaide Football Club is still no place to be found.

“It is ludicrous the number of players have requested to leave that place,” James Brayshaw, the former North Melbourne chairman, observed. Lever, Charlie Cameron, Mitch McGovern, Alex Keath, Cam Ellis-Yolmen: these are players who for one factor or another wanted the exit door. Richard Douglas, Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Hugh Greenwood were either delisted or proceeded, the latter now starring at the Suns. The most meaningful effect of Adelaides one crucial arrival in this time, Bryce Gibbs, is a cramping of the wage cap.

Crows director and club great, Mark Ricciuto, raised eyebrows on live radio recently when accusing high-profile departures of being money hungry, revealing dollar quantities of player salaries to boot.

A minimum of the expansion clubs had a reason. Adelaide have revitalized much of their playing list however ten of the 2017 grand last team played against Fremantle on Sunday; make that 11 had Brodie Smith not missed out on that decider through injury. The fact is Adelaide still have a rich array of skill, however are still so very bad. Their hubbed existence on the Gold Coast is neither factor nor reason; the Dockers are even further from home and life in Queensland has done no damage to the Crows city competitors, Port Adelaide.

The Crows are not flying as one. Its simply as well first-year coach Matthew Nicks is as bald as a hint ball – reconnecting the dots at the Adelaide Football Club would suffice to make anyone pull their hair out.