Adelaide defender Max Michalanney says he is feeling as “strong and fit” as ever, ahead of his second AFL season.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a standout first season at the highest level in 2023, playing in 22 of the Crows’ 23 matches, earning a Rising Star nomination and being tasked with negating some of the competition’s best forwards.

But the Norwood product is not one to rest on his laurels, and after a strong summer he says he is ready to take his game to new heights.

“In the first year they look after you a bit, sit you out of drills and make sure you are not overloaded, so this year it has been great to complete all the sessions in their entirety,” Michalanney said.

“This is definitely the fittest and strongest I’ve ever felt, and that has come as a result of the hard work I’ve put in over the summer.

“Compared to this time last year I feel I can match it a lot better with the bigger bodies and keep up with the fittest boys at the Club.

“I’m really happy with how my development is tracking, and excited to see where I can take my game this year.”

Michalanney forms part of a young Crows backline, and after cementing his spot in the team last year, he says he is keen to take on more responsibility in his sophomore campaign. 

“My main focus is growing on last year, and hopefully I’ll have a bit more responsibility in the back six,” Michalanney said.

“I want to be able to stand on the opposition's best forwards and hopefully lock them away, whether it’s a tall or a small I want to be really versatile and play a number of different roles. 

“While offensively I’m keen to keep growing, get better with my intercept game and bring a bit more attacking flair with ball in hand.” 

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Michalanney set one major goal for himself and outlined where he hoped the team could get to. 

“The big personal goal for me is to play every game, stay fit and healthy and develop as a player week in and week out,” Michalanney said. 

“While as a group we are still pretty sour about how last year ended and missing out on finals, so that’s something we are striving to achieve this year. 

“I’m confident in the group we have at the moment, everyone is in great knick, and hopefully that can translate into wins on the field.”