Adelaide Senior Coach Matthew Nicks says he never doubted his side’s commitment ahead of Showdown 50 after a tough week at the Club.
The young Crows put up an immense fight against Port Adelaide, with the opposition trailing until the final quarter to come back for a four-point win.
Nicks said, despite a difficult lead-up, his team left everything on the ground.
“It has been a really challenging week and a challenging 48 hours… but I knew they’d come out today and I’m really proud of the fact they did that,” Nicks told media after the game.
“They’re an amazing group of players… they prioritise each other. I had no doubt they’d come out and perform the way they did.
“It tells me they’re the group I thought they were.”
The senior coach lauded the performances of young players Chayce Jones and Harry Schoenberg in particular.
“I thought (Jones) was really strong tonight, off the back of what we were doing in other parts of the ground,” he said.
“He was aggressive in the way he played, I thought he showed some real speed and power tonight.
“He wasn’t the only one, which was a great sign for our future.
“Schoenberg also showed similar signs… when he was able to take the ball he was clean, he showed real explosive speed at times and he took on some tacklers.
“It’s a great sign for these guys, their bodies are maturing and they’re early in their careers but for them to look really confident on the ground is a really good sign for us.”
Nicks also commended debutant Brayden Cook’s efforts in a high-pressure four quarters.
“Brayden (Cook) is probably 12 months behind (Schoenberg and Jones) - he’s still got a fair bit of time to go in the gym but I really liked what I saw,” Nicks said.
“He didn’t look out of place at all. Speaking to him post-game, his speed in the first quarter was something we hadn’t seen before.
“What was a really good sign for a first-gamer is that he looked like he was on par with a lot of the guys out on the ground.
“We know that he’ll only get better."