Having players with finals experience in the side is a massive boost for the Crows ahead of Saturday’s qualifying final against Port Adelaide, as several young Crows prepare to play on Adelaide Oval for the first time.
With Wilson part of Sturt’s 2017 premiership winning side the year prior to being drafted by the Crows, and Otten having played in three finals series for Adelaide’s AFL side in 2017, 2011 and 2009, their insights have been important.
Wilson, who signed a contract extension with the Club on Friday, is encouraging his younger teammates to embrace the occasion.
“I’m telling them to really enjoy the moment,” Wilson said.
“We need to absorb the crowd and give it our best shot, because you don’t get to play in the finals that often.”
SANFL TEAM: Youngsters come in
While the “main goal” is to win the SANFL premiership, the midfielder said the young players will take a lot out of the intensity of finals.
“It would be really nice to celebrate and win a premiership with the boys this year,” Wilson said.
“I think it would be great reward for the younger kids and especially the development boys who put in a lot of time and effort to play each week for us.
“In finals, a lot of the free-flowing football goes out the window, it is a lot of one-on-ones, a lot of contest football – tackle, pressure.
“If we don’t go all the way, I think it would be another good stepping-stone for the younger guys, to see what the intensity is like in finals and really give them a good crack in the pre-season.”
Otten said the SANFL finals experience would be invaluable for the team, and one that they had truly earned throughout the year.
“Finals are what we play footy for, it’s what you battle the whole year for and we set ourselves up – we put in a lot of hard work to get the double chance,” Otten said.
“I think finals is hard contested footy and we have some really good players that suit that kind of game style.
“So, I’m just talking to the players about taking it all in, being themselves, backing themselves in and bringing their talent and putting it on the big stage.”
For the outgoing defender, the SANFL finals are a chance for him to finish his time at West Lakes on a high.
“To win, that’s front of my mind, and we are really pushing ourselves because I think our best footy is good enough,” Otten said.
“We haven’t finished the season off as well with a lot of changes in and out of the side the last six weeks, but we are back to the core group that’s played most of the year together.
“To finish off in style would be really nice, so I am going out there all guns blazing and I will leave everything out on the deck.”
The SANFL Showdown will start at 7.05pm at Adelaide Oval, after the elimination final between Norwood and Sturt at 3.20pm.
Fans wanting tickets can purchase them here, with one ticket getting you in to both games.
Entry for Essential Crows members and Under-18s is free, while the match will also be broadcast live on Channel 7 from 7pm.