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Crows keep pressure on

Katrina Gill  September 8, 2017 4:08 PM

After being left out of Adelaide’s Qualifying Final team, Alex Keath and Wayne Milera Junior have kept their names in front of selectors with strong displays in a trial game against Greater Western Sydney.

On Friday, the Crows and Giants held a scratch match featuring players not selected at senior level in the opening game of the AFL Finals Series.

The two clubs, who failed to qualify for SANFL/NEAFL finals, coordinated the game to help keep their full playing squads match fit in September.

Keath, who played six consecutive AFL games before making way for Daniel Talia in the Qualifying Final, was named the best player in Adelaide’s 49-point win at Football Park.

Promising Crows Tom Doedee and Ben Jarman continued their impressive form at State League level, while retiring veteran Scott Thompson kicked two goals from the midfield to the delight of fans in the stands.

An emergency for the Qualifying Final, Milera also slotted two goals in an electrifying first quarter.

Long-kicking onballer Dean Gore and development player Lachie Murphy, who kicked a clever goal from the pocket, were also among Adelaide’s best.

Assistant coach Scott Camporeale said Friday’s hit-out was a good opportunity for players from both clubs to maintain match fitness and apply selection pressure.  

“This time of the year always brings out the best in the guys that don’t necessarily play in the 22 because they know there’s potentially spots available,” Camporeale said.

“There’s a few guys that put their hand up (today). I thought Alex Keath was very good down back … and Tom Doedee was really strong as well.

“Andy Otten’s communication was really good. I thought Wayne Milera was very, very good, and Scott Thompson and Harrison Wigg found the footy.

“I thought young ‘Jars’ (Jarman) was very good on the wing too.”

The match practice was important for ex-Giant Curtly Hampton, who is on the comeback from a serious ankle injury.

“He (Hampton) had a great pre-season, got rewarded for effort and was playing some really good footy for us through the midfield,” Camporeale said.

“It’s great for him to get back potentially get some continuity of playing again.”

Adelaide also received permission for prospective father-son recruit Jackson Edwards to play on Friday.

Jackson, who is eligible for this year’s draft, is the son of Crows champion and 300-gamer Tyson.

“It was a good opportunity to have a look at him (Edwards), but there are no guarantees with what’s coming up,” Camporeale said.

“He obviously did some training (with us) over the pre-season and we needed some numbers to top up today. There are too many blokes working on a Friday so we got him out school.

“He’s a quality kid.”

Classy forward Steve Johnson and midfielder Ryan Griffen were among the experienced Giants to take part in the trial game.

Coach Don Pyke and a number of senior Crows, including leaders Taylor Walker, Rory Sloane, Tom Lynch, Eddie Betts and Daniel Talia turned out to watch their teammates in action.

Adelaide will need to make one change for its home Preliminary Final after scans confirmed defender Brodie Smith had sustained a serious knee injury.

Sloane is expected to return after missing the Qualifying Final as he recovers from an appendectomy.

Camporeale said it was too soon to say whether Sloane would be a straight swap for Smith.

“I can’t sit here and say it’s going to be like for like, or this guy comes in or this guy doesn’t because that wouldn’t be fair,” he said.

“Sloane will definitely come in, there’s no doubt about that – I can guarantee you that.

“As to what the make-up will be we will wait to see who we play.”

ADELAIDE        4.1   7.3  9.4  14.9 (93)
GWS                 2.1   2.2   5.4   6.8 (44)

GOALS
Adelaide:
 Beech 3, Dear, Milera, Murphy, Thompson 2, Signorello, Hampton, Edwards

BEST 
Adelaide:
 Keath, Doedee, Jarman, Thompson, Milera, Gore, Murphy