Brodie Smith will play his first game of the season against Carlton at the MCG on Saturday.
Smith has been recalled to the team along with 2009 best and fairest winner Bernie Vince.
Smith hasn’t played at AFL level since fracturing his collarbone in Round One of the NAB Cup. The damaging defender, who was one of Adelaide’s best players in last year’s finals series, made a successful comeback from injury in the SANFL last weekend.
Vince lined up alongside Smith for Woodville-West Torrens and responded to his omission from the Crows team, gathering 26 possessions, seven clearances and a goal in the win over Norwood. The pair replaces injured midfielder Brad Crouch and Jason Porplyzia, who has been omitted.
Sam Kerridge, Rory Laird and Tom Lynch, who were recalled to the side last week, have all retained their spots in the team.
Coach Brenton Sanderson said Smith would play an important role in helping to nullify Carlton’s dangerous small forwards.
“Brodie can play midfield and back. He has good speed and because of his size can play either tall or small,” Sanderson said.
“He’s a good decision maker and ball user, so we were keen to get him back in the side. We rate him really highly. We were happy with the way Bernie went back to the Eagles. He played very well.
“Bernie just gives us that experience and class through the midfield with Crouchy out.”
Porplyzia didn’t play for West Adelaide on ANZAC Day and will travel with the team to Melbourne. In-form onballer Jarryd Lyons and ruck/forward option Shaun McKernan are the other emergencies.
“It’s disappointing for Porps, but he hasn’t played much footy in the last few weeks having started as the sub a couple of times. He’s a valued player and will be on standby for us,” Sanderson said.
“Jarryd Lyons is really close. We thought about taking him over as the travelling emergency, but we thought it was important he got another game for Glenelg and kept his good form going.”
Crouch misses after injuring his hamstring at training on Wednesday. The promising young Crow will have scans in the coming days, but is expected to miss a minimum of two matches.
“It looks like it’s only a minor hamstring strain, but we won’t take any risks with him,” Sanderson said.
“We’ll make sure we get him right because he’s already showed he’s an important part of our side.”
The Crows will have a light run on Max Basheer Reserve from about 11am on Friday before heading to Melbourne for the twilight clash with the Blues on Saturday.
The team is:
B: Luke Brown, Ben Rutten, Andy Otten
HB: David Mackay, Daniel Talia, Brent Reilly
C: Richard Douglas, Scott Thompson, Brodie Smith
HF: Sam Kerridge, Josh Jenkins, Jared Petrenko
F: Tom Lynch, Taylor Walker, Matthew Wright
RUCKS: Sam Jacobs, Patrick Dangerfield, Rory Sloane
INT: Ricky Henderson, Matthew Jaensch, Rory Laird, Bernie Vince
EMERG: Jarryd Lyons, Shaun McKernan, Jason Porplyzia
IN: Brodie Smith, Bernie Vince
OUT: Brad Crouch (hamstring), Jason Porplyzia (omitted)
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