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Adelaide Football Club - Crows History Locker


Games Won 18

Ladder Position 4

Premiership position: 4th (18 wins, 7 losses). Finished minor round 1st (17 wins, five losses).
Coach: Neil Craig
Captain: Mark Ricciuto

Adelaide entered the 2005 season with low external expectations but then left dissatisfied by a preliminary final loss.

After a disappointing 2004 that yielded just eight wins and led to Neil Craig taking over as senior coach, pre-season media predictions were downbeat with most expecting the side to take time to develop.

The Crows, however, became one of the AFL’s most feared teams. Their mix of suffocating team defence and varied scoring options took them to the top of the premiership table at the end of the minor round, for the first time in the club’s history.

Craig had nine games in charge (for four wins) as interim coach in 2004 but even with a completely new set of assistant coaches was able to teach a successful new game plan.

Captain Mark Ricciuto again led the way. He was named in the All-Australian side for the eighth time, and as captain for the second consecutive year. Simon Goodwin, also picked in the AA side, won his second Adelaide’s Club Champion Award, a reward for his work ethic after missing 12 games in 2004 with a career-threatening groin injury.

But some young Crows also emerged. The club’s third AA selection was full back Ben Rutten, who had played only 11 AFL games before the 2005 season. He finished third in the best-and-fairest.

Adelaide’s looming rapid rise was not immediately obvious. After losing to West Coast at AAMI Stadium in the opening round, it was 4-4 (in eighth spot) and then 7-5, having lost to Geelong by four points.

Injuries forced 1998 premiership player Mark Stevens to retire in May, after reaching the 100-game milestone for the Crows in the opening round. Matthew Bode and James Begley (shoulder injuries), Jason Torney (back) and Graham Johncock (broken leg) were missed and ruck Ben Hudson wrecked his knee later in the season.

A ten-game winning streak then started with a 70-point drubbing of Richmond and although there were nervous moments – six games were decided by 13 points or less – Adelaide kept singing its post-game song. The two top teams faced off in the last round, at Subiaco Oval in Perth, and Adelaide’s eight-point win over West Coast lifted it to the minor premiership, with a club-best 17 wins.

It was not all good news. Ricciuto accepted a one-week suspension from the AFL’s match review panel for rough play.

Unfortunately, Adelaide’s record winning run stopped in the first week of the finals. Fourth-placed St Kilda upset the Crows by eight points in the qualifying final at AAMI Stadium and suddenly Adelaide faced a knockout semi-final against Port Adelaide, which thrashed North Melbourne by 87 points in an elimination final.

After a massive build-up to the first final played between the two South Australian rivals, Adelaide’s performance in the second half was one of the club’s finest moments. It piled on eight goals in the third quarter and another six in the final term to kick away to win by 83 points, the Crows’ biggest win over Port.

Goodwin starred with 22 disposals and three goals, Ricciuto dominated the midfield, forward Scott Welsh booted four majors and full back Rutten held Port champion Warren Tredrea goalless.

But the Crows had lost the right to a home preliminary final and therefore returned to Perth for the preliminary final. This time the Eagles were too good. The margin was only five points at half-time but West Coast led by 32 points at the last change and held off Adelaide’s late push to win by 16 points.

“Although we fell frustratingly short, if we are to continue to improve our football club we must also acknowledge and take pride in the giant positive steps we have taken in the past 12 months,” Craig wrote in the annual report.

Welsh was Adelaide’s leading goalkicker with 58, including a best return of eight against Richmond. The emergence of Rutten and Nathan Bock allowed Nathan Bassett to take on more of an attacking role in defence and he prospered, finishing runner up to Club Champion Goodwin and claiming the Best Team Man award.

Young midfielder/forward Scott Thompson proved a handy recruit from Melbourne and first-year draftee Nathan van Berlo made his AFL debut and won the Emerging Talent Award. Chris Knights, also drafted in 2004, was the first recipient of the Mark Bickley Award, as chosen by the Club’s player development coaches.

Adelaide, boasting 43,256 ticketed members, reported an operating surplus of $1.07 million after donating $100,000 to the new Crows Foundation, paying the SANFL $450,000 as part of the club’s sub-licence agreement and $606,735 for the northern grandstand. Since 1991, the club’s surpluses led to a distribution of $14,091,621 to the SANFL.

Other highlights

  • Tyson Edwards played his 200th AFL game in round four – the sixth Crow to reach the milestone – and polled the most Brownlow Medal votes.
  • Andrew McLeod was named co-captain of the Australian team in the 2005 International Series v Ireland and won the Jim Stynes Medal as Australia’s best player in the series. He was also named in the AFL’s Indigenous Team of the Century.
  • Adelaide launched the Adelaide Crows Foundation, to support SA children in need.
  • The inaugural chairman of the AFC Interim Board in 1990-91 and former SANFL President Max Basheer was admitted to the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
  • A second floor was added to the administration building, housing the football department.
  • The Club held initial discussions about the need to extend the players’ training facility.

Awards and Achievements

All Australians: Mark Ricciuto (captain), Simon Goodwin, Ben Rutten.

Best Team Man: Nathan Bassett

Mark Bickley Award: Chris Knights

Members MVP: Simon Goodwin

Leading goalkicker: Scott Welsh

Club Coach’s Award: Robert Shirley

Showdown Medal: Mark Ricciuto (round 3), Simon Goodwin (round 20).

AFC Life Membership: Simon Goodwin.

List changes

In: Scott Thompson (Melbourne), John Meesen (Geelong U18), Nathan van Berlo (West Perth), Chad Gibson (Norwood), Chris Knights (Eastern U18), Ivan Maric (Calder U18), Ryan Nye (rookie, Peel), Jonathon Griffin (rookie, East Fremantle), John Hinge (rookie, Glenelg).

Out: Tyson Stenglein (West Coast), Nigel Smart (retired), Wayne Carey (retired), Ronnie Burns (retired), James Gallagher, Mark Stevens (retired in May).

First game players

Scott Thompson, v Collingwood at Telstra Dome, 3/4/05 (debut order no 143)

Nathan van Berlo, v Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, 10/4/05 (144)

Chris Knights, v Hawthorn at Aurora Stadium (Tas), 10/7/05 (145)

Related links

Club Champion top dozen
1: Simon Goodwin 195 votes
2: Nathan Bassett 169
3: Ben Rutten 166
4: Andrew McLeod 164
5: Tyson Edwards 155
6: Mark Ricciuto 148
7: Ian Perrie 134
8: Martin Mattner 130
9: Scott Thompson 121
10: Ken McGregor 114
11: Robert Shirley 109
12: Scott Welsh 103
(4,3,2,1,0 by each member of the match committee)
Leading goalkickers
58 Scott Welsh
39 Ian Perrie
31 Ken McGregor
27 Scott Thompson
26 Trent Hentschel
21 Mark Ricciuto
20 Simon Goodwin
17 Tyson Edwards
Brownlow Medal votes
16 Edwards
11 Ricciuto
11 McLeod
9 Thompson
9 Goodwin
9 Mattner
4 McGregor, Burton
3 Welsh, Perrie, Skipworth, Johncock, Bassett
1 Hentschel, Reilly, Hart, Bock
Club Champion Simon Goodwin
Andrew McLeod of Australia celebrates victory in the International Rules Second Test against Ireland. He won the Jim Stynes Medal as Austrlaia’s best in the series.

All Australians

(L-R) Ben Rutten, Simon Goodwin and Mark Ricciuto
2005 Board: Back row (from left): Alan Sheppard, Nigel Smart, Andrew Payze, John Sutton. Front row: Steven Trigg (CEO), Bill Sanders (Chairman), Peter Hurley, Paul Rofe.

The 2005 squad

Back row (from left): Mark Stevens (#19), Jason Torney (15), Martin Mattner (39), Nathan Bassett (8), Chad Gibson (29), Trent Hentschel (37), Scott Stevens (27), Ian Perrie (22), Nathan Bock (44), Ken McGregor (16), Luke Jericho (30), Kris Massie (3), James Begley (28), Scott Thompson (5). Third row: Don Pyke (assistant coach), Matthew Smith (1), Ben Rutten (25), Ivan Maric (20), Ben Hudson (13), John Meesen (2), Matthew Clarke (4), Rhett Biglands (35), Joshua Krueger (31), Rowan Andrews (rookie, 43), Fergus Watts (6), Jonathon Griffin (rookie, 41), David Noble (assistant coach). Second row: Chris Ladhams (40), Tyson Edwards (9), Michael Doughty (11), Andrew McLeod (23), Mark Ricciuto (captain, 32), Neil Craig (senior coach), Ben Hart (34), Simon Goodwin (36), Brett Burton (24), Brent Reilly (33), Scott Welsh (17). Front row: John Hinge (rookie, 38), Ryan Nye (rookie, 42), Matthew Bode (10), Nathan van Berlo (7), Chris Knights (21), Jacob Schuback (26), Graham Johncock (18), Robert Shirley (12), Hayden Skipworth (14).

2005 Jumpers

Inspired by the South Australian State team’s 1930 jumper, Adelaide’s heritage guernsey in 2005 was mainly gold, with red numbers, and included the SANFL logo on the back. The AFC monogram on the front was taken from the Club’s original crest. It was worn in the Showdown against Port Adelaide. Adelaide had used its main guernsey (with blue or white shorts) in every final it played until it wore the away jumper in the losing preliminary final against West Coast in Perth. A different typeface on the Camry logo differentiates the 2004 and 2005 versions.

2005 main; Ken McGregor, Ben Rutten: Simon Goodwin and Mark Ricciuto, and Trent Hentschel, in the away jumper; the heritage jumper; back of Rhett Biglands’ home jumper.