After getting his first look at Adelaide’s young defenders in the Club’s trial game against Port Adelaide on Saturday, development coach Brent Reilly said it was a ‘great hit-out’ for the Crows’ defensive unit.

Key posts Alex Keath (12 AFL games) and Tom Doedee (20 games) were the most experienced members of the team’s back six, which featured three new Crows and two players from the development squad.

“Only two of our defenders had ever played together before, being Keath and Doedee, so that was a challenge for us. But it was great for our new Crows and the development squad players to get a taste of the level,” he said.

“The game was a level above SANFL, based on the feedback we got from players, so it was great for our young players to get exposure to that.

“Keathy looked really strong down back – he played above the level for sure.”

Reilly identified 18-year-old Lachlan Sholl and rookie Jordon Butts as two young Crows who were solid in their first competitive hit-out as they come to terms with the game plan, defensive structures and building synergy with new teammates.

“I thought Sholly was solid off half-back, his weapon is his kick and when we got the ball in his hands he used it pretty well – I saw a few things that he’s been working on in training come out in the game,” he said.

“Buttsy is just a natural footballer, he knows how to get the footy and where to run… he’ll be really hard to play against as he continues to grow his game.

“All our young guys are working on learning our defensive principles and they’ve been very attentive about what it takes to play in defence for the Adelaide Football Club.”

MATCH REPORT: New Crows impress in trial game

The new rules gave a glimpse of what to expect in 2019, with defenders at a significant disadvantage with the introduction of the 6-6-6 centre bounce structure rule.

“The biggest impact is the 6-6-6 because it really opens up the ground,” he said.

“If we lose the centre bounce, defenders are one-on-one in the goal square, so they’ll have to get the job done on their own without relying on support.”