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AFLW: Forwards back

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Abbey Holmes of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFLW Grand Final match between the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium on March 25, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Abbey Holmes
I’m 100 per cent focused on footy now
Jenna McCormick

The Crows have been bolstered by the return of premiership forwards Abbey Holmes and Jenna McCormick for Saturday’s AFLW match against Melbourne at Casey Fields.

Holmes, 27, missed last week’s loss to the Brisbane Lions with a knee injury, while McCormick was unavailable for the Grand Final rematch because of soccer commitments with Adelaide United.

The pair replaces defender Anne Hatchard (soreness) and midfielder Sophie Armitstead (omitted).

Armitstead and Marijana Rajcic are the emergencies. 

Earlier in the week, All Australians Erin Phillips and Courtney Cramey were ruled out again through injury.

McCormick, 23, also missed Adelaide’s season-opener last year, joining the Club full-time in Round Two of the AFL Women’s Competition after playing in the W-League Grand Final.

The crafty goalkicker, who trained with the Crows whenever possible in pre-season, admitted it had been tough juggling both sports but was confident she could make a smooth transition this week.

“I’m 100 per cent focused on footy now … so soccer will take a bit of a bench seat,” McCormick said.

“I’m lucky enough to be able to do a lot of training while I’m at soccer, so when I come into footy I do have that good (fitness) base. But it is a different type of running and a different type of strength.

“There’s a little bit I’ll have to work on … I just hope I can bring my skills and strengths to the team and contribute to, hopefully, getting the win.”

McCormick is set to play her first AFLW game alongside former Adelaide United teammate, Ruth Wallace. The code-hoppers played together for the Reds, along with emergency Rajcic, in 2012-13.

Livewire Wallace made a promising AFLW debut against the Brisbane Lions last weekend.

Saturday’s twilight clash starts at 5:05pm (AEDT). The game will be broadcast live in Adelaide on 7TWO and nationwide on Fox Footy. Fans can also watch every game on the new AFLW App.

It will be Adelaide’s first trip to Casey Fields. The Crows and Demons met at TIO Stadium in Darwin last season, with Melbourne securing a two-point win.

The fancied Dees are the only team in the AFL Women’s Competition the Crows are yet to beat.

Co-captain Chelsea Randall said Adelaide was aware of the star-studded Melbourne team’s strengths.

“Melbourne are quite good users of the footy in terms of skill execution,” Randall said.

“They love to run and carry (the ball) so we need to make sure we shut down some of those handballs … that release those kicks into the corridor.

“That comes from our pressure acts and being really competitive.”

On Saturday, the Crows will wear their ‘away’ Indigenous guernsey for the first time this season.

Adelaide’s next home game is against the Western Bulldogs at Norwood Oval from 1:35pm (SA) on Saturday, February 17.

The team is:
IN – Abbey Holmes, Jenna McCormick
OUT – Anne Hatchard (soreness), Sophie Armitstead (omitted)