Rory Laird made the most of an opportunity to hit back at a fellow Crow who made a cheeky dig at him after the Brownlow Medal count.
The midfielder topped Adelaide’s count with 16 votes but close mate Brodie Smith joked that Laird “let us know pretty quickly all the games he should’ve got more votes in”.
But speaking on Adelaide radio on Wednesday morning, Laird made sure he dished one back.
“He (Smith) wasn’t even there so I’m not sure how he made up that I said that,” Laird joked.
“It was Paul Seedsman, Tommy Doedee and I there (at the Brownlow) so I don’t know how he somehow got intel into what I said on the night when he wasn’t even there.
“I think he accused me of wanting more votes but I am taking 16 everyday of the week to be honest. I think I had two or three last year so I am happy with that.”
Laird enjoyed an exceptional season in 2021 after completing his transformation from one of the best defenders in the competition to one of its premier on-ballers.
He played all 22 games this season, averaging 32 disposals, 6.8 clearances and almost six tackles a game, to take out the Club Champion award.
But he wanted to get even better for the 2022 campaign.
“I am working a lot with (assistant coach) Nathan van Berlo just around my stoppage craft,” Laird said.
“I’m not the biggest bloke going around and I come up against the likes of Nat Fyfe and David Mundy and generally the midfielders are a bit bigger than I am, so I’ve got to work through that.
“Obviously I did it OK this year but I want to continue to improve on that.
“Just to be able to break out of stoppages and hit the scoreboard a bit more… it’s something I have to practise.
“Probably a few little key areas to (improve) but the main thing is still working on my ground balls and my hands inside the stoppage.”
The Club’s first-to-fourth-year players are set to return for pre-season on November 22, while the more senior ones, including Laird, will be back on December 5-6.
Laird said he was hoping to take a quick trip to Noosa before the holidays ended but that was dependent on Covid-19 restrictions.