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Crows to share midfield load

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media with staff writers  December 20, 2016 4:10 PM

Rory Sloane Presser December 20 Rory Sloane speaks to the media at the Women's & Children's Hospital as the players visit kids for Christmas.
AFL 2016 Rd 17 - Adelaide v Collingwood

Rory Sloane

We've never relied on one guy to get it done in there, we've always had guys chipping in.

The might of many in the midfield will be key to Adelaide’s hopes next season, says onballer Rory Sloane.

Sloane was the Club’s standout midfielder this year, winning his second Club Champion award and earning All Australian honours for the first time.

The 26-year-old said Adelaide’s emerging mids were ready to assume more responsibility in 2017.

"As you saw with our SANFL team, guys like Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Wayne Milera, these guys are really keen to take that step up to the next level," Sloane said.

"And you saw a little taste of Brad Crouch and Matt Crouch and what they can do.

"We've got a lot of depth that can run through the midfield.

"As we've always said, we've never relied on one guy to get it done in there, we've always had guys chipping in.”

Versatility has been a theme at West Lakes this pre-season, and Sloane said several teammates were eager to take on new roles and add more strings to their bow.

“What we learned from last (season), especially from the Bulldogs, is you have to be flexible with the positions you play,” he said.

“So many guys now have to float through half-forward or the wing, so we’ll be looking to share the load a bit through the midfield.

“Everyone’s feeling pretty sharp at the moment.“

Christmas open session

Sloane is also hopeful talks resume with the AFL on a new pay deal for the players.

The AFL Players' Association and the League couldn't come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement during a meeting in Torquay earlier this month.

"The AFL are very clear on where we stand as players and hopefully negotiations start up soon," Sloane said.

"We're waiting on them.

"We've positioned our deal to them, one that is a percentage-share model, which we think is quite fair."

Sloane said a strike during the JLT Community Series is a "fair few steps away".

"Fans don't want that as an outcome, but we will do what needs to be done and we will hopefully get it done soon," he said.

The entire Crows playing squad visited the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital in North Adelaide on Tuesday to spread some Christmas cheer ahead of the holiday season.

As for what Sloane wants to find under the Christmas tree, it's a present difficult to wrap.

"My stock standard answer is a new surfboard, but this year I said a blender," he said.