Adelaide AFLW coach Matthew Clarke says his squad has come back to pre-season in top shape. 

The Crows officially began their journey to season 2024 two weeks ago, when the entire squad returned for pre-season.

Across the five-month off-season, players were diligent with their training, whether it be featuring in the SANFLW, taking on other sports or getting together for running and skills sessions. 

Speaking to AFC Media, Clarke said the hard work the squad put into its off-season training was so far paying off. 

“It’s been great to get officially started, lots of our players trained pretty hard throughout that off-season period, and that hard work has shown out on the track over the past couple of weeks,” Clarke said.

“A lot of the squad are setting PB’s on the fitness and strength side of things which is great, and puts us in a great place to really attack the football elements.

“The feel around the squad is also great, everyone is happy to be back and training with each other again.”

The Crows began their pre-season with a trip to Cairns, where they mixed training with growing the game and team-bonding exercises.

Clarke said the trip was a great success and a springboard for the remainder of the pre-season. 

“We were really fortunate to partner with AFL Cairns and AFL Queensland to help some development programs, we went out to a lot of schools, hosted some clinics and ran a coaching clinic,” Clarke said.

“It was a great opportunity for us to give back to community footy which was a really rewarding experience for the whole squad. 

“We were also able to complete some hard training sessions, increase our connectedness as a squad and see a pretty incredible part of the world.

“Overall it was a fantastic way to start our pre-season campaign.”

Having built a solid foundation, Clarke has his eye on continued improvement, as the squad knuckles down throughout the winter months. 

He said he was eager to see improvement out of the Crows’ next generation.

“The reality of it is that I’m really happy with the entire squad, so it’s hard to pick out individuals,” Clarke said.

“I’m really excited to see the progression of the players that have been in the system for a few years now, like Brooke Tonon, Kiera Mueller, Keeley Kustermann, Brooke Smith, Zoe Prowse, Maddi Newman, Hannah Munyard and Jess Waterhouse.

“They are just some of the players who have had great off-seasons and I can’t wait to see them continue to develop over the next couple of months.”