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Embrace the excitement: Pyke

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  September 23, 2017 1:01 AM

Don Pyke Post-Match: PF Watch Adelaide's press conference after the preliminary final against Geelong
The guys will go to sleep tonight, put their head on the pillow and know next week they're going to play in front of 100,000 people at the MCG

Adelaide coach Don Pyke has urged the Crows to embrace the hype surrounding the club's first Grand Final appearance in 19 years.

And the Crows have also left the door open for exciting forward Mitch McGovern to return from a hamstring injury for the decider.

The minor premiers emphatically secured their place at the MCG on the last Saturday of September with a 61-point thrashing of Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

The Crows dealt the Cats a preliminary final hiding to ensure the club returned to the Grand Final for the first time since winning back to back premierships in 1997 and 1998.

"The guys will go to sleep tonight, put their head on the pillow and know next week they're going to play in front of 100,000 people at the MCG, that's a given, so there will be no surprise when there's 100,000 there," Pyke said.

"You haven't experienced it until you've experienced it.

"It'll be a game of footy, it'll be a different week, we'll embrace the week and we'll prepare as we always do to come ready to play and perform.

"As much as we're pleased with tonight, making the Grand Final is not what it's about.

"It's about winning a Grand Final and that's what we now set our sights on doing."

Pyke can draw on his own experience as a player when he was part of the West Coast teams that lifted the cup in 1992 and 1994.

"It's not a normal game, that's the reality," Pyke said.

"This is the last game of the year and it's when you're playing for the premiership.

"It's a different week, but you embrace the excitement of the week and we'll go through the logistics of the week with our players early on, then we'll concentrate on what we need to do, which is play a game of footy and win a game of footy."

The Crows face a selection headache if McGovern can recover in time from a hamstring injury suffered at training last Saturday.

Utility Andy Otten came into the side for McGovern and had a solid game as part of a potent Crows attack.

"We'll give (McGovern) every chance," Pyke said.

"He's got his running back to a reasonable level now and clearly he'll have to do some training at a pretty high level this week for us to feel comfortable taking him in.

"But I spoke to him just before and he's in a real positive mindframe and he'll give himself every chance to play."

Pyke said midfielder Hugh Greenwood wasn't under an injury cloud, despite playing just over half the game and having six disposals.