1. Nothing guaranteed
With less than a month until Round One, competition for spots in Matthew Nicks’ best 22 is heating up.
Adelaide’s senior players will be challenged for selection and have been warned no position is safe ahead of the season opener against Geelong.
Senior assistant coach Scott Burns said the young contingent of Crows were already staking their claim.
“If the older fellas want to put their hand up and play Round One, they better be playing good footy,” Burns said.
“We’ve been really impressed with the younger players and the players we’ve got from other Clubs.
“The younger mids were exceptional today, they certainly didn’t give the more experienced mids anything on their terms.
2. Debuts could come early
Adelaide’s coaching staff could hand out a number of debuts early thanks to the preparation of the Club’s recruits.
Burns told the media on Saturday that “four out of the first five” draftees are physically ready to play straight away.
Forward Billy Frampton, who booted three goals in the trial match, was full of praise for young midfield duo Sam Berry and Luke Pedlar.
“I was just talking about them before actually, they’re really impressive to come in like that, they’re both 18, both country boys as well, so they’re pretty tough and played senior footy a bit and put their head over it,” Frampton said.
“They’ve come in at a really good size so they definitely look the part and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re playing a significant part this year.”
3. Forward line is spoilt for choice
Selecting a forward six may prove to be the biggest problem for the Crows’ match committee with a bevy of options in front of goal.
Taylor Walker, Billy Frampton, Elliott Himmelberg, Riley Thilthorpe and Darcy Fogarty will all contest for a tall position.
Throw in the small forwards and the decision becomes difficult to make.
“At this stage, we’re like everyone else… waiting to see who will jump out and take a key position,” Burns said.
“Billy, Fog, Tex, Himmel was good last year, Riley as well… they’re all competing for a spot.
“We’ve got Rowey (James Rowe) who is going well, (Lachlan) Murphy going well, (Shane) McAdam who has come leaps and bounds.
“The small positions are up for grabs as well.”
4. Thilthorpe is a forward
Despite a run late on the wing, and the chance to pinch-hit in the ruck, Riley Thilthorpe will play as a key forward.
“He’s recruited to be more of a key forward, that’s where he’ll play,” Burns said.
“That may have just been rotations (his time on the wing).
“As you saw today, the things he does are very talented, but he’s still in his (career) infancy.
“He has a lot to learn and he’s going really well.”
5. The real test comes next weekend
Although the coaches enjoyed plenty of positive signs from the squad, the real first test for Adelaide will come on Saturday in a trial against Port Adelaide.
“It’s hard when you play internal trials, everyone is on the same wavelength,” Burns said.
“The thing with an internal is you know what the opposition is going to do… we really need to play other teams.
“It’s going to be good to get Port over the next couple of weeks.”