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Adelaide Football Club - Crows History Locker


Games Won 12

Ladder Position 8

Premiership position: 8th in 16-team competition (12 wins, 11 losses)
Coach: Gary Ayres
Captain: Mark Ricciuto

Adelaide returned to the finals in 2001 but its form fizzled out at the wrong end of the season.

After another slow start, the Crows improved significantly on 2000, winning three more games and making the finals for the fourth time since 1991.

But the good work was undone in the last two games, with an upset loss to bottom side Fremantle in round 22 costing Adelaide sixth spot and a home final before it then suffered a heavy defeat to Carlton in the elimination final at the MCG.

Adelaide, with its youngest squad since it joined the AFL, was not expected to be a contender at the start of the year.

Ruckman Shaun Rehn moved to Hawthorn and was one of eight premiership Crows – with Troy Bond, Peter Caven, Matthew Connell, Shane Ellen, Brett James, Kym Koster and James Thiessen – to clear their locker at the end of the 2000 season

Mark Ricciuto took over as captain, Neil Craig returned to the Club as an assistant coach, and the Crows recruited Port small forward Matthew Bode and North Melbourne tall Evan Hewitt. Bode broke his hand in his first and only game for the season.

Adelaide selected Victorian tall forward Laurence Angwin with its first pick at the national draft (No 7). He booted four goals in the first half of his first SANFL trial with Glenelg but missed most of the season with hamstring and then shoulder injuries. Triple Ken Farmer Medallist (in the SANFL) Adam Richardson and former Essendon rover Chris Ladhams were added in the pre-season draft.

Off the field there was unrest at Board level late in 2000, leading to director Ross Dillon resigning and long-serving director Bob Campbell being elected chairman. The SA Football Commission had removed board members David Marshall and Stephen Young, replacing them with Peter Hurley and John Sutton. Inaugural Crow Andrew Payze was later added to the Board to fill the casual vacancy.

The 0-3 start to the home-and-away season included heavy losses against Sydney and Port Adelaide, and a last-kick loss to Melbourne. Simon Goodwin gave the Crows the lead with 31 seconds on the clock but Andrew Leoncelli replied with four seconds left.  

After a dismal Showdown, Adelaide regained its spirit with a stirring wet-weather performance against Carlton at Princes Park, in round four. Ricciuto led the way in one of the most inspirational individual performances in the club’s history. The pressure was on coach Gary Ayres in the wake of the disappointing end to 2000, the Crows had not won at Princes Park for ten years and they were given little chance of overcoming Carlton.

Ricciuto played only one quarter the previous week because of breathing issues and a racing heart but he set the tone early and his physical presence at centre half-forward was crucial all day. He only had 12 possessions but kicked four of Adelaide’s nine goals, including the 45-metre sealer from deep in the forward pocket late in the last quarter. Adelaide won by nine points and after the final siren Ayres was mobbed by the players out on the ground.

By round ten Adelaide had dragged itself into the top eight by winning five of the next six games, the revival featuring great away wins over Richmond and Brisbane (which did not lose another game for the season).

Doubts about the Crows resurfaced when it dropped home games against the Western Bulldogs, Collingwood and Sydney. But Adelaide’s game clicked in round 17 against Melbourne at the MCG and after it wasted a brilliant start against Port Adelaide in Showdown X it confirmed its finals booking with wins over Carlton, Kangaroos and Hawthorn.

Then came the round 22 trip to Perth to play Fremantle, which had won just one game for the season. The deflating 37-point loss kept Crows in eighth spot and they failed to rebound in the elimination final.

Adelaide had beaten Carlton twice during the season, including a comprehensive 53-point win at Football Park on August 11. But with Anthony Koutoufides starring in the midfield, the Blues opened a 44-point lead by half-time and kicked away in the fourth term to win by 68 points.

Premiership hero Darren Jarman, 34, announced his retirement after the loss. “They say you know when you are finished. I now know that,” he told The Advertiser. And he was soon joined by two-time premiership forward Matthew Robran, who had battled a chronic back injury.

Four years after his first win, Andrew McLeod became the first Crow to collect two Club Champion awards. McLeod was also recognised with All-Australian selection for the third time and finished runner-up in the Brownlow Medal. He polled 21 votes to finish two votes behind Brisbane’s Jason Akermanis. McLeod had six best-on-ground games during his season but did not receive a vote in the last three rounds He did, however, win the AFL Players Association MVP award.

One of the unsung heroes was Club Champion runner-up Mark Stevens, who fought back after breaking his leg the previous year. He made centre half-back a regular stronghold earlier in the season and later, when Adelaide was searching for some answers in the forward line, responded magnificently to the challenges offered at centre half-forward.

Ben Hart finished third in the Club Champion votes and fourth-placed Goodwin was Adelaide’s other All Australian, for the second time.

Best Team Man Tyson Stenglein shaped a career as minder who could play through the midfield or defence and was missed when injured for the elimination final with a fractured foot.

Ricciuto qualified for Life Membership but his first year as captain did not have a smooth start. A cracked rib, sustained in the pre-season Ansett Cup, made long stints in the midfield impossible. But he played a decisive role in Adelaide’s opening win and continued to contribute.

Leading goalkicker Jarman started the season at half back where his exquisite delivery helped create goals rather than finish them. It worked for some time but eventually Adelaide’s need for a classy forward who could get on the end of some of the work of the midfielders took the 34-year-old back to the goal square, where he kicked 33 goals in the second half of the season.

Former captain Mark Bickley had one of his best AFL seasons, good enough to convince him that there was another year left in the legs and the mind. Ruckman Matthew Clarke pushed through the nightmares of 2000 to restore his reputation as one of the best tappers in the business and when Clarke missed some games at the end of the minor round Rhett Biglands relished his opportunity.

The pick of the new players was classy wingman James Gallagher, who was promoted off the rookie list mid-season and played nine games.

Other news

  • Adelaide played overseas in the opening round of the Ansett Australia Cup. The match, in New Zealand city Wellington, finished in a 41-point loss to Brisbane.
  • The Crows released a book, “The Pride of South Australia”, to recognise the Adelaide Football Club’s first decade.
  • The biggest win of the season was 97 points against the Malcolm Blight coached St Kilda at Colonial Stadium in round 15.
  • Crows fans enjoyed the upgraded and bigger “Shed” in an old State Supply building at the eastern end of Max Basheer Reserve. The club spent $1 million on the building, next to the old Shed that had been used from 1997.
  • The new $12.5 million Northern Stand at Football Park, seating nearly 7000 fans, opened in time for the home game against Sydney on July 22.
  • Bill Sanders retired as Crows CEO at the end of the 2001 season, after 11 years in the role since the Club was formed. He was replaced by Steven Trigg, previously the Club’s membership and communications manager.
  • Goodwin and McLeod represented Australia in International Series Tests against Ireland, played in Melbourne and Adelaide.
  • Recruit Adam Richardson won the SANFL’s Ken Farmer Medal for the fourth consecutive year but only played two AFL games, kicking 1.4 on debut.
  • Inaugural Crows chairman Bob Hammond was appointed to the AFL Commission in March.
  • The Crows retained $154,500 of an operating surplus of $1,083,770, after the distribution to the SANFL of $870,000.   

Awards and Achievements

All Australians: Andrew McLeod, Simon Goodwin

Best Team Man: Tyson Stenglein

Coach’s Award: Mark Bickley

Members MVP: Andrew McLeod

Emerging Talent award: Chris Ladhams

Leading goalkicker: Darren Jarman

Past Players and Officials Player of the Year award: Andrew McLeod

AFL Players’ Association MVP: Andrew McLeod

AFC Life Membership: Mark Ricciuto

List changes

In: Evan Hewitt (North Melbourne), Matthew Bode (Port Adelaide), Laurence Angwin (Dandenong U18), Michael Handby (Dandenong U18), Hayden Skipworth (Woodville-West Torrens), Graham Johncock (Port Magpies), Matthew Smith (Oakleigh U18), Chris Ladhams (Essendon/North Adelaide), Adam Richardson (West Adelaide). Rookies: Kane McLean (Norwood), James Gallagher (Norwood).

Out: Shaun Rehn (Hawthorn), Troy Bond, Peter Caven, Matthew Connell, Shane Ellen, Brett James, Kym Koster, Trent Ormond-Allen, James Thiessen, Balraj Singh, Justin Cicolella (to rookie list).

First game players

Evan Hewitt, v Sydney at the SCG, 1/4/01 (player debut order 116)

Chris Ladhams v Sydney at the SCG, 1/4/01 (117)

Matthew Shir, v Sydney at the SCG, 1/4/01 (118)

Hayden Skipworth, v Sydney at the SCG, 1/4/01 (119)

Matthew Bode, v Melbourne at Football Park, 7/4/01 (120)

Stuart Bown, v Hawthorn at York Park, 6/5/01 (121)

Adam Richardson, v Fremantle at Football Park, 12/5/01 (122)

James Gallagher, v Essendon at Colonial Stadium, 15/6/01 (123)

Related links

Club Champion top dozen
1: Andrew McLeod 172 votes
2: Mark Stevens 159
3: Ben Hart 140
4: Simon Goodwin 138
5: Tyson Stenglein 113
6: Mark Bickley 107
7: Tyson Edwards 104
8: Darren Jarman 101
9: Mark Ricciuto 89
10: Matthew Clarke 86
11: Nigel Smart 84
12: Kane Johnson 75
(4,3,2,1 by the four coaches)
Leading goalkickers
40 Darren Jarman
29 Andrew McLeod
27 Mark Ricciuto
22 Scott Welsh
21 Mark Stevens
18 Peter Vardy
16 Simon Goodwin
Brownlow Medal votes
21 McLeod
10 D Jarman
10 Goodwin
7 Smart, Ricciuto
4 Bickley
3 Perrie
2 Welsh, Burton, Bassett, Stevens
1 Edwards, Johnson, Hart, Biglands
Club Champion Andrew McLeod
Adelaide’s 2001 All Australians Simon Goodwin and Andrew McLeod
2001 Board: Back row (from left): Peter Hurley, Alan Sheppard, Andrew Payze, John Sutton. Front row: Bill Sanders (CEO), Bob Campbell (chairman), Paul Rofe, Wally Miller.

The 2001 squad

Back row (from left): Stuart Bown (44), Evan Hewitt (2), Matthew Robran (10), Rhett Biglands (35), Ben Marsh (31), Matthew Clarke (4), Laurence Angwin (37), Adam Richardson (15), Ian Perrie (22), Mark Stevens (19). Third row: Scott Welsh (17), Kane Johnson (28), Andrew Eccles (33), Michael Handby (29), Matthew Smith (13), Ken McGregor (16), Nathan Bassett (8), Tyson Stenglein (20), Andrew Crowell (1), Nigel Smart (7), Darren Jarman (3). Second row: Neil Craig (assistant coach), Peter Curran (assistant coach), David Gallagher (38), Matthew Shir (5), James Byrne (6), Bryan Beinke (25), Brett Burton (24), Ricky O’Loughlin (27), Robert Shirley (12), Peter Vardy (30), Tyson Edwards (9), Mark Mickan (assistant coach). Front row: Chris Ladhams (40), Graham Johncock (18), Michael Doughty (11), Simon Goodwin (36), Mark Ricciuto (captain, 32), Gary Ayres (coach), Ben Hart (34), Andrew McLeod (23), Matthew Bode (21), Hayden Skipworth (14), Mark Bickley (26). Not in photo (rookies): Kane McLean (39), James Gallagher (41), Justin Cicolella (42), Matthew Golding (43).

2001 Jumpers

Fila took over as the new apparel supplier in 2001 with both the home and clash jumpers featuring a new neckline and a shiny look. Edging on the away sleeve and collar changed from gold to red. The Crows wore their main guernsey, with white shorts, in the elimination final against Carlton at the MCG.

Tyson Edwards, Matthew Robran, Ben Hart; Scott Welsh; the back of James Gallagher’s away jumper; Ian Perrie and Darren Jarman in the long-sleeved away version.