Adelaide forward Josh Rachele is determined to build on his debut season after a solid start to his AFL career, which included booting five goals in his first game.

The Crows selected Rachele with Pick No. 6 at the 2021 AFL National Draft and he went on to play 13 games and kick 17 goals but endured a frustrating end to 2022 due to a hip injury.

Despite missing the last seven games of the AFL season, Rachele said he exceeded his own expectations with the number of games he was able to play for the Crows in his first year.

“I thought I transitioned pretty smoothly, played some good footy early on and then had my struggles with injury, which impacted those back-end games,” Rachele said.

“Obviously there’s a lot to work on for next year, both individually and as a team, but if you had to wrap it (the season) up, I was pretty happy with it.

“The goal was to come in and play as many games as I could, disregarding injury, but with what I could, I was pretty happy with it.

“(The debut) was an exciting game, there was more excitement than nerves, that’s for sure.

“I think that was just a good start for me, knowing that’s my best footy and that I can play that way, it’s now about playing consistent footy next season, winning more games.”

“(The debut) was an exciting game, there was more excitement than nerves.

Rachele said being forced out due to the hip injury was tough, especially because he had not missed much football during his junior playing days.

“The first period off, you do get a bit frustrated and you want to be out there with all the boys,” Rachele said.

“But it’s good to have the likes of Sloaney and those guys who are long term (injuries) and you get to talk with them and get advice quite constantly.

“That helps the transition into understanding that this is part of football and you’re going to have these little things.

“Patience has been a big key, something I’ve always struggled (with) as a youngster, having not missed much football.

“It’s now being able to understand when your body is sore, to listen to it and get it right.”

Crows players not involved in SANFL finals are on leave but Rachele says he will stick around the Club for a few more weeks, as he continues to work hard on his rehab.

“In the next week to two we’ll start ramping things up,” Rachele said.

“I’ll be staying here for a couple more weeks with the SANFL boys, a few of us in the rehab group are going together to get our little niggling injuries right.

“Then the plan is to go back to Shepparton to see some school mates and I think I’ll  come back early on and start training with a lot of the young boys.”