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'Easy decision' for Eddie

Katrina Gill  January 18, 2017 4:56 PM

Eddie Betts Presser January 18 Eddie Betts speaks to the media after extending his contract for a further three seasons.
I grew up barracking for the Adelaide footy club and I will end my career here

Newly re-signed Crow Eddie Betts says there was “no chance” he was ever going to leave Adelaide.

On Wednesday, it was announced Betts had agreed to a three-year contract extension, keeping him in Crows colours until the end of 2020.

The fan favourite has produced career-best form since moving to Adelaide from Carlton at the end of 2013. He’s topped the Club’s goalkicking in each of the past three seasons, earned All-Australian selection twice and finished runner-up in the 2016 Crows Club Champion.

Betts, who was born in Port Lincoln on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, said he would see out his playing days with the Crows.

“Ever since I moved across, I’ve loved the Club, loved the supporters, loved the players in the group and the coaching staff,” Betts said.

“They (the Club) approached me and said, ‘How long can you play for?’ and I said ‘Probably another three years!’ That’s how it played out from there.

“I sat down and spoke to my wife Anna and a few people at the Club that I trust in Tate Kaesler (Team Defence Specialist Coach) and (Assistant Coach) David Teague.

“It was a pretty easy decision. I grew up barracking for the Adelaide footy club and I will end my career here.”

Betts, who kicked a personal best 75 goals last season, is part of the highest-scoring forward line in the competition. The 30-year-old said the chemistry with his teammates, as well as the lure of success were keys in his decision to commit to the Crows.

“I think that we could have a chance to win a premiership,” he said.

“I guess that’s what every kid’s dream is, to play in a premiership. I think our group’s got that and I’m really looking forward to the future.

“It’s the culture as well. With the boys that we have here, everyone makes you feel at home. Coming here and playing in that forward line that we have, it’s an exciting forward line playing with Tom Lynch, Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins and Charlie Cameron.

“Those guys get the best out of me. I probably wouldn’t be as good as I am if it wasn’t for them.”

Betts is one of the game’s great entertainers.

The back-to-back Goal of the Year winner has a pocket nicknamed after him at Adelaide Oval, where fans chant his name every time he gets near the ball.

“When you hear them chant your name it just echoes through (the ground). If I’m having a bad day and they chant my name when I’ve only had one touch, it gets me going and gets me up,” he said.

“Soon enough, they’ll be yelling Charlie’s name, I reckon.”

Betts’ relationship with Cameron is another example of his value to the Club.

Betts and his family opened their home to West Australian recruit Cameron in 2014, and have watched him develop as a player and person.

Cameron is now a mentor himself.

“I’m doing that (mentoring) without even knowing it, but Charlie’s come along way and he’s doing that as well. He’s taken Wayne under his wing and is mentoring him. It’s fantastic to see,” he said.

Betts and Cameron have been working in tandem in Adelaide’s attack for the past three years.

However, Betts expected his protégé to push further up the ground this season.

“He (Cameron) is absolutely flying at the moment. He’s moved up into the midfield and he’s got a PB (personal best) in his 2km time trial. He’s ripping up the track,” he said.

“When he comes down forward he can probably do all the chasing now and I can have a rest because he’s pretty fit at the moment!”

Competition for spots in the forward line remains hot.

Forwards/wingmen Riley Knight, Wayne Milera Junior and Troy Menzel are among the players hoping to break into the best 22.

Milera is expected to re-join the main training group next week after being on a modified program to ease knee soreness. Knight won the time trial pre-Christmas, and Menzel hasn’t missed a session after an injury-interrupted 2016. Rookie Ben Jarman is another goalkicker looking to develop his craft under Betts.

“Troy is absolutely flying. His running has picked up from last year,” Betts said.

“And I’ve got Benny Jarman always hassling me saying, ‘When are you going to retire? I want the forward pocket role!’

“But it’s pretty hard to get into that forward line unless someone gets injured. If we have those guys firing underneath us, it puts pressure on us.”