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From spoons to decider

Bryce Shilton  September 25, 2017 12:47 PM

AFL 2017 First Preliminary Final - Adelaide v Geelong

Eddie Betts

To finally get there - it’s unreal. I’m still pinching myself now

Eddie Betts had waited 13 years for the opportunity to play in a Preliminary Final. Now, just eight days later, he’ll have the chance to experience the ultimate success.

Speaking on Adelaide radio on Monday morning, the livewire forward touched on the emotional moment the siren sounded, sending a victorious Adelaide to their first Grand Final appearance in 19 years.

“There were tears of joy,” said Betts.

“Being in the system for 13 years, playing footy and winning two wooden spoons… to finally get there - it’s unreal. I’m still pinching myself now.”

Betts proved pivotal early in the game, but it was young protégé Charlie Cameron that stole the show – lighting up Adelaide Oval in a classy five-goal performance.

It was a breakout game for the young forward, who played a starring role as Adelaide recorded a 61-point win over Geelong in emphatic fashion.

“For Charlie to come out and play like that, it’s been unreal,” said Betts.

“We always knew that it took just one game for him to go ‘bang’, and he’ll break the game open. To see him do it in a Prelim, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s great confidence for him going into next week and it’s great to know he can play good against quality sides in one of the most important games of the year.”

Cameron claimed one of the marks of the year, causing an off-field Betts to jump from the bench in jubilation. 

“I’ve never seen him get up that high before,” said the forward.

“So, when he got up and took it… I just went crazy.”

A touching moment from former teammate Patrick Dangerfield post-game a sign of just how special the occasion was for Betts.

“Obviously, I was still emotional after the game,” recalled Betts.

“He came up to me – I’m pretty close with Danger – and he said to me, ‘If anyone deserved this, you’re the one that deserved this the most out of anyone. So, I’m proud of you and just enjoy it.’

“We wanted to make it uncomfortable for Geelong (and Danger) when they come to play here at Adelaide Oval, and I guess that’s what we did.”

Dangerfield wasn’t the only player to reach out, with some Grand Final veterans passing on their advice for the week.

“I actually spoke to Shaun Burgoyne, and he told me to embrace it,” shared Betts.

“Byron Pickett texted me and said ‘enjoy it, soak it up. It’ll be your time to shine’.

“We know the week is going to be different to any other week, but we’re going to embrace it and adapt to it.”

After a strong start against Geelong, pressure could again be the key to stopping a fast-attacking Richmond outfit on Saturday.

“We just knew that we had to put the pressure on and get on the scoreboard early,” said Betts.

“Pressure, pressure, pressure… get in their face and press them. We knew if we did that (against Geelong), they’d cough it up.

“Richmond’s little guys put pressure on – if you watch (Daniel) Rioli, he’s unbelievable – so we’ve got to stop him.

“The only team that stands in our way is Richmond now. They’re going to be hard to stop, but we’ll go over there to get the win.”

All Crows fans are encouraged to attend an open training session at Adelaide Oval this Wednesday from 9:30am. 

“Get down and cheer us on. It’ll be the last time you see us train this year,” urged Betts.

“Pull the kids out of school – don’t worry about education on Wednesday – just get them out of school and bring them down!”