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South Aussie Pride: The Big Adelaide Crows 2024 Guide

When the Crows were on in the 2023 AFL season, oh boy, they were like a firework show on the Fourth of July. Taylor Walker and Izak Rankine were tearing up defences like they were made of paper. But, and there’s always a but, their away game was like a leaky boat. They couldn’t quite keep it together when they were on the road, leaving their fans scratching their heads and maybe tossing a few expletives at the TV screen.

But hey, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. They managed to rack up 11 wins, which is a step up from their snooze-worthy 2022 season. And let’s not forget the drama! Missing out on finals because of a ref’s call had fans going bonkers. Still, despite the heartbreak, there were silver linings. They gave Matt Crouch another shot, and did he deliver! The dude was like a tornado on the field, leaving opponents dizzy with his moves. Plus, moving Jordan Dawson into the midfield mix was a stroke of genius. 

But let’s address the elephant in the room: their away game. Two wins out of nine? Ouch. It’s like they left their mojo back in Adelaide. If they can figure out how to pack that mojo in their travel bags this season, watch out! They might just be the dark horse charging into the finals. 

You’ll always get the best Adelaide Crows tickets from Queen of Tickets, be sure to bookmark our dedicated Crows tickets page here.

A deep-dive into the Adelaide Crows 2023 season

Alright, let’s dive deeper into the Adelaide Crows’ 2023 season, where Jordan Dawson wasn’t just a star player; he was a fantasy football deity! Imagine a regular dude suddenly turning into Superman right before your eyes—that was Dawson when he got thrown into the midfield mix against the Blues. Suddenly, he wasn’t just a defender; he was the midfield maniac, pulling strings and making plays like it was nobody’s business. 

In fantasy football land, he was the golden goose, racking up points like he was on a mission to break records. Seriously, the guy was a machine, finishing fourth overall in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam behind only the big dogs like Tim English and Marcus Bontempelli. His stat sheet looked like something out of a fantasy novel: sixteen tons, nine of them above 120, with a career-high 172 to boot! And let’s not forget about SuperCoach—Dawson was a beast there too, averaging 115.9 and ranking fourth in total points across the format. If you didn’t have him on your fantasy team, well, you might as well have been playing with one hand tied behind your back.

But Dawson wasn’t the only one making bank for the Crows. They had their own little money-making factory going on. Max Michalanney and Luke Nankervis were like those reliable stocks you invest in early and watch your portfolio grow. And then there was Luke Pedler, the ultimate cash cow. This dude was generating so much dough; you’d think he was printing money in his spare time. 

Now, onto the not-so-great stuff. Reilly O’Brien, bless his heart, didn’t quite hit the same heights as he did in 2022. Sure, he wasn’t exactly a flop, but when you’re competing against the likes of Tim English and Rowan Marshall, it’s tough to stand out. 

The Adelaide Crows’ 2024 season has been nothing short of a ride so far. After a shaky start that left fans biting their nails, they’ve managed to find their footing and are clawing their way back into contention. The recent Showdown win against the Power breathed new life into their campaign and showcased a side that’s capable of much more than their early-season struggles suggested.

One of the standout factors in their resurgence has been their ability to apply pressure on the field. Against the Power, they dialled up the intensity, laying a whopping 73 tackles, well above their season average. Midfielders like Jake Soligo, Rory Laird, and Matt Crouch led the charge, putting the heat on the opposition and disrupting their flow. Soligo, in particular, has been a revelation since his move into the midfield, injecting tenacity and energy into the team’s play.

Captain Jordan Dawson and Laird have also been instrumental in the pressure game, ranking among the league’s top tacklers. This commitment to pressure has paid dividends, as evidenced by the Power’s dismal kicking game, their worst in five years. Adelaide’s relentless pressure forced them into errors and prevented them from capitalising on scoring opportunities.

But it’s not just their defensive efforts that have improved; their attacking game has seen a significant upturn as well. Despite a rough start to the season where their goal accuracy was a paltry 38%, they’ve turned things around in recent weeks. With a newfound efficiency in front of goal, they’ve climbed to a 60% accuracy rate over the past four matches. This newfound sharpness has seen them top the charts for goals per inside 50 and rank fourth for goals conceded per opposition inside 50.

As they sit two games out of the top eight in 12th place with a 3-5 record, the Crows are facing a crucial juncture in their season. With upcoming clashes against Brisbane, Collingwood, West Coast, Hawthorn, and Richmond, they have a golden opportunity to continue their climb up the ladder. If they can maintain their current form and build on their recent successes, there’s a realistic chance of finishing the season with a positive win-loss record.

Of course, the road ahead won’t be easy, especially with injuries plaguing their squad. But if there’s one thing the Crows have shown this season, it’s resilience. Their ability to bounce back from adversity and embrace pressure as a foundation for success could be the key to turning their season around and defying the odds to make a late push for finals contention.

Mark Keane’s journey from Ireland to the heart of the Adelaide Crows 

The 24-year-old Irishman has defied the odds and silenced the doubters with his standout performances, particularly in the high-pressure atmosphere of the Showdown clashes against Port Adelaide.

It wasn’t long ago that there were whispers questioning Keane’s commitment to Australian rules football after his return from Ireland. However, those doubts have been firmly put to rest as Keane continues to impress with his rapid development and unwavering dedication to the game.

In his 17th game against Port Adelaide, Keane delivered a masterclass performance that showcased his defensive prowess. With 17 disposals, 10 intercept possessions, six rebound 50s, and four marks, he left a lasting impression on the field. Notably, he once again managed to nullify the threat posed by Power’s formidable forward, Charlie Dixon, earning him well-deserved recognition and two Showdown Medal votes.

Keane’s journey to the AFL hasn’t been without its twists and turns. Initially, he returned to Ireland, intending to leave football behind. However, fate had other plans, and within a week of Fischer McAsey’s departure from the game, Keane found himself back in Australia, ready to seize the opportunity presented by the Crows.

Despite missing out on a pre-season last year, Keane wasted no time in making his mark. His commitment and dedication shone through as he impressed in the SANFL, earning a spot in the Crows’ senior side towards the end of the season. Since then, he has only continued to improve, becoming a linchpin in the Crows’ defensive setup.

What’s particularly exciting for the Crows is that Keane’s potential is far from fully realised. With his insatiable appetite for improvement and his willingness to learn, he represents a significant asset for the team’s future. As coach Matthew Nicks aptly puts it, Keane’s learning curve is still on the rise, and there’s plenty more to come from the talented defender.

Alongside fellow emerging talents like Josh Worrell and Max Michalanney, Keane forms part of a youthful but formidable defensive unit. Their cohesion and understanding on the field have been instrumental in shoring up the Crows’ defence, with Keane leading the charge as the eldest among them.

The Adelaide Crows 2024 season could be primed for greatness

Despite narrowly missing out on finals action last year, there’s a palpable sense of excitement surrounding the club, and for good reason. With a blend of seasoned veterans, emerging stars, and fresh faces, the Crows have all the ingredients for a tilt at the ultimate prize.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Adelaide’s 2024 campaign is their unheralded backline. While they may not boast the household names of some other clubs, there’s no denying the talent and tenacity of this defensive unit. Led by the composed Max Michalanney, who belies his youth with his poise and maturity, the Crows’ backline is a force to be reckoned with. Josh Worrell has come on leaps and bounds in recent seasons, while Chayce Jones and Mitch Hinge provide invaluable toughness and resilience. And let’s not forget about Brodie Smith, whose moments of brilliance and calming influence make him a linchpin of the defensive setup.

But where Adelaide truly shines is in their tall stocks. Jordon Butts has been a revelation since his arrival, consistently tasked with nullifying the opposition’s best key forwards. Nick Murray has seamlessly slotted into the backline, proving himself to be a reliable and composed defender. And then there’s the Irish sensation Mark Keane mentioned above, whose rapid rise to prominence has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite his relative inexperience, Keane has already established himself as a vital cog in the Crows’ defensive rotation. Last but not least is James Borlase, whose unexpected debut showcased his undeniable talent and versatility.

What’s remarkable about this quartet is their ability to step up when called upon. Each player has thrived in the face of adversity, exceeding expectations and proving their worth to the team. It’s this resilience and determination that epitomises the spirit of the Adelaide Crows—a team built on hard work, dedication, and a never-say-die attitude.

But it’s not just the backline that has tongues wagging in anticipation of the 2024 season. Father-son prospect Tyler Welsh is poised to make waves in the SANFL, with his talent and potential drawing comparisons to past greats. Much like Taylor Walker before him, Welsh has the opportunity to showcase his abilities on the state league stage and stake his claim for a spot in the senior side.

And let’s not forget about Darcy Fogarty and Riley Thilthorpe, whose time to shine has finally arrived. With Tex Walker taking on a more supporting role, the spotlight is firmly on these two young key forwards to lead the charge up forward. Both players have shown flashes of brilliance in recent seasons, and with reports of their impressive form on the training track, the stage is set for them to fulfil their potential and become the stars they were destined to be.

In the midfield, the addition of Izak Rankine promises to inject some much-needed speed and dynamism into the Crows’ engine room. With Rory Sloane, Matt Crouch, and Rory Laird providing the grunt work, Rankine’s explosive pace could be the x-factor that propels Adelaide to success.

There’s also the influx of new blood into the squad. With Wayne Milera, Luke Pedlar, and Josh Rachele, among others, the future looks bright for the Crows. These young guns have the talent and hunger to make a significant impact and help drive Adelaide towards sustained success.

Under the guidance of their new leadership group, which includes stalwarts like Jordan Dawson and emerging leaders like Lachlan Murphy, the Crows are poised to write the next chapter in their storied history. With a blend of experience, talent, and hunger, Adelaide has all the makings of a premiership contender in 2024. 

Where do you get the best AFL and Adelaide Crows tickets for the 2024 season?

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