Exciting young Crow Josh Rachele is gearing up for more midfield minutes in season 2024.

Playing predominantly as a small forward in his first two AFL seasons, the mercurial 20-year-old has had an immediate impact on Adelaide's attack, booting 40 goals from 34 matches. 

But over the summer Rachele has evolved his game, spending more time training with the midfield group, as the Crows hope to unleash his game-breaking speed and skill higher up the ground. 

Speaking to AFC Media, Rachele explained how his new role might look on game day.

“I’ve loved the challenge of training with the midfielders more this pre-season, guys like Lairdy (Rory Laird), Crouchy (Matt Crouch) and Daws (Jordan Dawson) are top tier players in the competition and I’ve learnt so much going up against them,” Rachele said. 

“In terms of the midfield minutes I play, I’d love to get up to a 50-50 split between the midfield and forward line and attend a few more centre bounces to help grow my game. 

“I think myself, Izak (Rankine) and Luke (Pedlar) will have a pretty fluid rotation through there which I think will be very exciting, we all bring similar strengths and work together really well.” 

Rachele’s increased exposure to the midfield has come as a result of the hard work he has put into his conditioning. 

He said being “that bit stronger and faster” has translated to becoming a more confident player. 

“I’m definitely a lot fitter heading into this season than I have been in previous years, and that just comes from lifting heavier weights and continually testing myself in the running,” Rachele said. 

“Being that bit stronger and faster, it’s given me a lot more confidence on the track to take the game on against some of my bigger, more experienced teammates. 

“One of my big strengths is taking the game on, over the pre-season I’ve grown in confidence to do it more and now I’m keen to see that translate into the games.” 

Rachele and his Crows teammates will face their first opponent of 2024 on Friday evening, as they face Port Adelaide in a match simulation. 

He said the squad could not wait to show what it had been working on over the summer. 

“I’m pretty excited (for matches to start), by this time of pre-season you get tired of only playing against your teammates as you all know the game plan and have been battling each other for a couple of months,” Rachele said. 

“So it’s exciting to finally have an opposition and show off a bit of what we have been working on over the summer against Port on Friday. 

“The main focus for us in the practice games is to execute our roles, we’ve got a couple of little things we’ve changed in our game plan this year so it will be about nailing them and being consistent with our style for the whole match.”