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SANFL: Lever to play

(Photo: Adelaide Crows FC)
Jake Lever will play his first game of the year for Adelaide's SANFL team
It’s great for Jake. He’ll be like a raging bull after more than a year out of the game.
David Noble on Jake Lever

Prized draft pick Jake Lever is set to play his first game as a Crow in Saturday’s SANFL trial match against West Adelaide.

Lever, who turned 19 last month, ruptured the ACL in his left knee in late 2013 while training with the AIS-AFL Academy squad and has not played since.

Adelaide took a conservative approach with the No.14 National Draft selection throughout the summer as he continued his comeback from the injury.

Head of Football David Noble said he was happy with Lever’s progress since joining the Club.

“We’ll manage Jake’s game time on Saturday, but we’re really looking forward to seeing him back out there,” Noble said.

“His last two or three weeks of training have been really strong.

“It’s great for Jake. He’ll be like a raging bull after more than a year out of the game. He’s ticked all the boxes and he’s ready to go.”

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Veteran midfielder Scott Thompson is also set to return from injury and rookie ruckman Jack Osborn is the third Crow ready to make his first appearance of the year.

Thompson, 32, will return from a minor hamstring complaint sustained at training. It will be the midfielder’s maiden hit-out of 2015 after he sat out of all three of Adelaide’s NAB Challenge matches.

The trial will also be Thompson’s first game at SANFL level since Round One, 2005 when he was aligned with the Port Adelaide Magpies.

Jack Osborn suffered an injury-riddled 2014 and has had his workload managed leading into Saturday’s trial.

Emerging midfielder Matt Crouch will play in his second State League trial game after collecting 14 disposals and nine clearances in a half of football against the Magpies.

“He’ll play a full game this week and he’s now back in a situation where he needs to play well and put pressure on the guys in the AFL team,” Noble said of Crouch.

Brodie Martin, Harrison Wigg, Harry Dear, Anthony Wilson, Reilly O’Brien, Keenan Ramsey and Jake Kelly are the remaining AFL-listed players named in the squad of 26.

Fourteen members of Adelaide’s development squad have also been named, but the final team won’t be known until the Club’s Round One AFL side is settled.

Read more about Adelaide’s 2015 development squad

The trial begins at 10am at Richmond Oval. Entry to the game is free.

Adelaide’s SANFL squad is:

5. Scott Thompson
6. Jake Lever
30. Jack Osborn
35. Harrison Wigg
36. Brodie Martin
37. Ian Callinan (c)
38. Harry Dear
42. Anthony Wilson
43. Reilly O’Brien
44. Matt Crouch
46. Keenan Ramsey
47. Jake Kelly
48. Joshua Wittwer*
50. Matthew Spencely*
51. Jordan Wilson-King*
52. Dylan Ribbons*
53. Justin Smart*
54. Jake Sutcliffe*
55. Dylan Schoenmakers*
56. Charlie Molyneux*
57. Dale Armstrong*
58. Nick Mott*
59. Luke Carey*
60. Matthew Johncock*
61. Sam Pfeiffer*
62. Matthew Stent*

* Denotes development squad player

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs