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Crouch runner-up in Rising Star

Katrina Gill  September 4, 2013 2:53 PM

Brad Crouch with fellow nominees Sam Kerridge, Luke Brown and Rory Laird

Brad Crouch with fellow nominees Sam Kerridge, Luke Brown and Rory Laird

Exciting Crow Brad Crouch has finished runner-up in the 2013 NAB Rising Star award.

Crouch polled 31 votes from the judges to finish 13 behind winner Gold Coast sensation, Jaeger O’Meara on 44 votes. Port Adelaide midfielder Ollie Wines finished third (26 votes).

Adelaide’s 2012 Rising Star Daniel Talia was on hand to present the Ron Evans Medal to O’Meara.

Crouch is the second Crow behind Andy Otten (2009) to finish runner-up in the prestigious award. Talia became the Club’s first-ever winner when he topped the voting in 2012.

The Round 14 nominee,Crouch was one of four Crows, Sam Kerridge (Round Nine), Rory Laird (Round 20) and Luke Brown (Round 23) to receive a Rising Star nomination this season – a Club record.

Crouch was selected by Adelaide with pick No.2 (behind O’Meara) in Greater Western Sydney’s 17-year-old ‘mini-draft’ in October, 2011.

The 19-year-old made his AFL debut against the Brisbane Lions in Round Two this year. A hamstring injury kept him sidelined for three weeks early in April, but he returned to play a starring role in the Crows midfield in the last 10 games of the season.

Not only was Crouch Adelaide’s best performed midfielder in the latter-half of the year, his statistics stacked up with the elite players in the AFL.

From Round 14 onwards, Crouch ranked 12th – level with Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett – in the competition for total disposals (266), averaging 26.6 possessions per game. He topped 30 touches on two occasions, amassing 31 against both Melbourne and Gold Coast.

In the last 10 games, the Ballarat teenager ranked first at Adelaide in disposals (266) and handball receives (115), second in tackles (47), third in marks (50), fourth in clearances (40), contested possessions (88) and hard ball-gets (30). He also kicked three goals, including two against West Coast in the final round of the season.

Across the course of the year, Crouch averaged more possessions (24.5) than any of the 2013 NAB Rising Star nominees. He also averaged 4.4 marks and tackles per match.

A judge on the Rising Star panel, Crows legend Mark Ricciuto gave Crouch the maximum five votes.

2013 Rising Star Leaderboard
Jaeger O’Meara (Gold Coast) – 44
Brad Crouch (Adelaide) – 31
Ollie Wines (Port Adelaide) – 26
Aaron Mullett (North Melbourne) – 11
Nick Vlastuin (Richmond) – 11
Lachie Whitfield (GWS) – 3
Brodie Grundy (Collingwood) – 1
Sam Mayes (Brisbane Lions) – 1