Crows defender Tom Doedee can still remember being the “young bloke” in a side with plenty of strong leaders to look up to.
Now, three years later and at the age of 24, Doedee has become one of the leaders.
The backman was formally introduced into the Club’s leadership group last season but really started developing those qualities when he injured his ACL in 2019.
Speaking to The Optus Crows Show, Doedee said he enjoyed helping develop the young side, alongside skipper Rory Sloane.
“In 2018 when I first came in, it was (Daniel) Talia, (Kyle) Hartigan, (Luke) Brown, (Brodie) Smith, (Rory) Laird and I was the young bloke back there,” Doedee said.
“I got sort of looked after, played my role and did what I could. (Then in) 2019 with the ACL...
“The funny thing is, the year that I coached was Buttsy, Hamill, Sholl and now CJ. Now they’ve all become my backline friends down there.
“The beautiful thing is that this group is so easy to coach, they’re so easy to talk to, they listen, they respond, they give you a lot back.”
Doedee was recruited from the Geelong Falcons in 2015 but played two seasons in the SANFL before earning his AFL debut.
He ruptured his ACL in Round One of 2019 and missed the entire season before a hamstring injury forced him out of the last seven matches in 2020.
But, apart from being involved in a collision during the match against Essendon last week, Doedee said he had been lucky with injuries so far this campaign.
“To be honest I haven’t really had too many things that have pulled me out of training or even things like flush-runs, Captain’s runs,” Doedee said.
“It’s been incredibly positive considering the last couple of years where I’ve had setbacks.”
Also on The Optus Crows Show this week, Head of Football Adam Kelly talks through how the Club is involving family, past players and the fans into the Crows inner sanctum, while Matthew Robran joins Sam Jacobs to talk about his Optus Yes moment.
The Optus Crows Show airs on Channel 7 Adelaide this Sunday at 3.30pm.
Interstate fans can catch the full episode on afc.com.au shortly after.