Adelaide Senior Coach Matthew Nicks says recalling ruckman Reilly O’Brien for the clash with Geelong is not just because of the big numbers he produced in the SANFL last week.

O’Brien was omitted from the Crows’ Rounds Nine and 10 matches and, after a week off with a State League-wide bye, he went back and performed strongly against Woodville-West Torrens.

In his first SANFL game for 2022, O’Brien amassed a game-high 37 disposals, 42 hit-outs, 13 clearances, six inside 50s, four contested marks and a goal.

Speaking to the media before flying to Geelong for Saturday’s clash with the Cats, Nicks said he challenged O’Brien to work on aspects of his game.

And Nicks said O’Brien rose to the challenge but earned a call-up to the AFL side this weekend because of his attitude and his SANFL form.

“It was an outstanding performance, we were expecting him to go back and perform well,” Nicks said.

“It was more than just game day, it was the way ROB (O’Brien) behaved during the week.

“It was more than just game day, it was the way ROB behaved during the week.

“He is an incredible leader which is why he is in our leadership group and we challenged him around where some of his form was at.

“Sometimes a nice reset can help a player and he went back and he was flawless during the week.”

Nicks said Kieran Strachan’s omission from this week’s side was a tough decision.

“(I had a) really hard conversation with Strachany,” Nicks said.

“His opportunity will come again.

“He’s a fantastic young ruckman, he’s actually not that young anymore he’s got some experience under his belt. 

“He has played against some of the best when he’s come up and played at AFL level so he’s doing a fantastic job for us and I’m sure we will see him sooner rather than later at AFL level again.”

Nicks said it was important his side took its opportunities and captalised on its inside-50s against Geelong as that was what let Adelaide down in its loss to the Saints last weekend.

“We gave ourselves opportunities last week and we weren't able to finish,” Nicks said.

“We will continue to work on that side of our game and we will look at a few things this week where we think we will hit the scoreboard.

“There’s nowhere to avoid a contest on that ground and if both teams bring it it’ll be a battle, that’s the way we like to play footy and Geelong do as well.”

Adelaide takes on Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday at 1.15pm (ASCT).