A plethora of South Australia’s best young football talent will be on display this Saturday, when the Next Generation Academy Showdown is held as a curtain raiser to the Showdown for the first time.
The Crows Academy will take on cross-town rivals Port Adelaide's Academy in the inaugral event.
The players were mentored by several current and former Crows, including Richard Douglas, Jason Porplyzia, Tom Doedee and Hugh Greenwood, as well as coaches Don Pyke, Ben Hart, Scott Camporeale and Michael Godden.
Douglas was particularly impressed by the focus the young players brought to each training.
“Their attitude and willingness to learn was second-to-none and you could see them getting better and better as the weeks went on,” Douglas said.
“It was great to be able to share with them some of the things I have learned over the years and hopefully it helps them along their football journey.”
Academies member Archie Lovelock in a previous scratch match
Academies team member Archie Lovelock said he could not wait to play on Adelaide Oval, where the avid Crows fan has watched his football heroes play many times before.
“To be playing on Adelaide Oval before the biggest game of the season in front of thousands of people while wearing the Crows guernsey against Port Adelaide… it is just incredible,” Lovelock said.
“The Academy program has been amazing. We have had access to all the facilities which are beyond what we would have access to at our own clubs.
“I have learned so much from players like Porps and Dougie who have shared a lot about their experience at the top level.
“Every young player dreams of playing AFL football. It feels like I am one step closer to my AFL dream and this program has given me a leg up.”
The Adelaide Football Club’s Crows Academies program aims to nurture, attract, inspire and develop participants and talented players to the game of AFL.
The program was designed to expose the young players to a high-performance environment and allow them to tap into Club coaches and players, access elite training facilities, and educate them on preparation, nutrition and recovery.
The Crows Academies are made up of players nominated from the four Crows NGA SANFL aligned clubs - Central District, Glenelg, Sturt and North Adelaide.
The curtain raiser will kick off at 1:50pm, before the Crows take on the Power from 4.05pm.
Crows Academies Squad
Jaiden Dennie Richards (Central District)
Joseph Fenwick (Central District)
Angus Van de Berg (Central District)
Bowen Payne (Glenelg)
Hayden Brokensha (Glenelg)
Archie Lovelock (Glenelg)
Foster Mesecke (Glenelg)
Bodie Ryan (Glenelg)
Lachlan Scannell (Glenelg)
Nasiah Wanganeen (Glenelg)
Aaron Zerk (Glenelg)
Luke Harvey (North Adelaide)
Brandon Jackson-Martin (North Adelaide)
Isaax Keeler (North Adelaide)
Kane McAuliffe (North Adelaide)
Callan McKenzie (North Adelaide)
Jay McLachlan (North Adelaide)
Angus Turner (North Adelaide)
Thomas Byun (Sturt)
Blake Fidge (Sturt)
Loch Rawlinson (Sturt)
Nick Sadler (Sturt)
Patrick Tidemann (Sturt)