THE Crows stood out of the pack in the finals because of their young guns which are expected to improve even more this year.
They are the team that continues to be under-rated but commentators have jumped on their bandwagon this year and loom as a potential flag threat. Kurt Tippett is arguably their most important player up forward. He’s loyal too after ditching a Gold Coast offer.
Patrick Dangerfield is one to watch given that he made his mark last season.
Anyone with Andrew McLeod in their team is going to be dangerous. Richard Douglas needs a big season.
On-field: Daniel Talia, Jack Gunston, Sam Shaw, James Craig, (NAB AFL Draft), Luke Thompson, Matthew Wright, Matthew Jaensch (NAB AFL Rookie Draft), Aidan Riley (NSW Scholarship Program)
B: Andy Otten, Ben Rutten, Graham Johncock
HB: Simon Goodwin, Nathan Bock, Andrew McLeod
C: David Mackay, Scott Thompson, Patrick Dangerfield
HF: Jason Porplyzia, Trent Hentschel, Chris Knights
F: Brett Burton, Kurt Tippett, Taylor Walker
Foll: Ivan Maric, Bernie Vince, Tyson Edwards
I/C: Michael Doughty, Brad Moran, Nathan van Berlo, Scott Stevens
Injuries have played a big part over the pre-season but they have a favourable draw in the opening 10 rounds so it should give them a comfortable start.
They’re current absentees include a forward line devoid of Burton, Porplyzia, Knights and Hentschel lacks some power, and the ruck division minus Moran and Maric is threadbare. Midfield cornerstone van Berlo and handy flanker Symes are also laid up.
They will be severely tested later in the year with games to end the season against Collingwood, Western Bulldogs and St Kilda. If they can re-enact last year’s form, they will be one to watch. Prediction: 6th