Games Won 12
Ladder Position 8
Premiership position: 8th (12 wins, 11 losses). 8th after minor round (12 wins, 10 losses).
Coach: Neil Craig
Captain: Mark Ricciuto
After consecutive preliminary final appearances, the 2007 season was more of a demanding grind for the Adelaide Football Club.
The dominant minor round form of 2005 and 2006 was rarely repeated as the Crows struggled for continuity but they finished the minor round strongly before another heartbreaking finals loss.
With Trent Hentschel and Rhett Biglands sidelined by knee injuries suffered late in 2006, Adelaide also had to deal with a series of other injuries to key players and some of the younger Crows who were needed to fill spots.
There was no dream finish to Mark Ricciuto’s outstanding career. Parvovirus ended his 2006 season and despite a promising pre-season the 2003 Brownlow Medallist was restricted to only nine games by a sore back and then a severe ankle injury. The captain returned late in the minor round after announcing his plan to retire but was injured early in the elimination final, his club record 312th appearance for the Crows.
Small forward Matthew Bode played only one game, damaging a knee in round two, and 2006 All Australian defender Nathan Bassett broke an ankle in round 13. Draftees Kurt Tippett, James Sellar and David Mackay also had challenging first seasons because of injuries.
Adelaide’s season started poorly with a 31-point loss to Essendon at AAMI Stadium – a massive reversal from their previous meeting when the Crows won by 138 points.
Wins over Port Adelaide, Sydney and Western Bulldogs had the Crows at 3-1 before a thriller against Fremantle in Perth saw them go down by just one point. After nine rounds Adelaide was in third place but one of six teams with six wins.
Seven losses in the next ten games sent Adelaide sliding down the ladder, although it recorded one of its best wins of the season in round 14 when Ricciuto kicked four goals in a 71-point win over third-placed Hawthorn.
Adelaide revived its finals hopes with a stirring comeback win against Port Adelaide in round 18. The Power led at every change but the Crows kicked the first four goals of the final term and held on to win the Showdown by eight points.
With three games to play Adelaide was still ranked 11th but it then returned to the top eight with wins against the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane before securing its finals spot with an impressive away win against finalist Collingwood.
Adelaide had momentum heading into the elimination final against fifth-placed Hawthorn at Telstra Dome and it started well, booting the first three goals. Hawthorn steadied but another three-goal burst late in the opening term gave the Crows a 19-point break.
When Ken McGregor kicked his fourth goal midway through the second term Adelaide was 31 points clear. But it was then young Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin’s turn to shine, kicking three goals in five minutes.
Franklin added another three goals in the tense final quarter, his seventh giving Hawthorn a three-point lead with only seven seconds left in the game. Adelaide had regained the lead only two minutes earlier when Jason Torney goaled on the run from 50 metres.
It was another devastating end for the Crows and eight-time All Australian Ricciuto, who led the team from the ground for the last time after 15 years at the top level. It was also the last Crows game for leading goalkicker Scott Welsh, ruckman Ben Hudson and Torney.
Andrew McLeod’s remarkable season saw him named Adelaide’s Club Champion and captain of the 2007 All-Australian team. McLeod’s third Gold Jacket came a decade after he won his first in 1997, when he was the youngest winner. He was also voted by Crows members as the Most Valuable Player.
Runner-up in the Club Champion voting was Simon Goodwin and Scott Stevens was recognised for a career-best season by winning the Best Team Man award.
Scott Thompson’s career took another step as he spent more minutes in the midfield. He finished third in the best-and-fairest and polled 18 Brownlow Medal votes.
Of the new Crows, energetic and unpredictable forward Nick Gill added spark to the forward line in seven games late in the season and ruckman Jonathon Griffin made his AFL debut in round one, played 16 games and won the club’s Emerging Talent award.
- Premiership hero Darren Jarman became the first Adelaide player to be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame as recognition of his outstanding career with North Adelaide, Hawthorn, Adelaide and South Australia.
- Tyson Edwards played his 250th AFL game against Brisbane at the Gabba in round seven. He was the sixth Crow to reach the milestone.
- Adelaide broke the AFL ticketed membership record with 50,976 in 2007.
- Adelaide confirmed plans to rebuild its training facility on the eastern side of AAMI Stadium.
Awards and Achievements
All Australians: Andrew McLeod (captain)
Best Team Man: Scott Stevens
Mark Bickley Award: Jason Porplyzia
Members MVP: Andrew McLeod
Leading goalkicker: Scott Welsh
Coach’s Award: Robert Shirley
Emerging Talent Award: Jonathon Griffin
Showdown Medal: Andrew McLeod (round three), Simon Goodwin (round 18).
In: James Sellar (Glenelg), Kurt Tippett (Southport), David Mackay (Oakleigh U18), Bryce Campbell (Norwood), Nick Gill (North Adelaide). Rookies: Rhys Archard (South Adelaide), Greg Gallman (North Adelaide), Andrew McIntyre (North Adelaide), James Turner (South Adelaide)
First game players
Jonathon Griffin, v Essendon at AAMI Stadium, 1/4/07 (player debut order 150)
John Hinge, v Collingwood at AAMI Stadium, 5/5/07 (151)
Bryce Campbell, v Essendon at Telstra Dome on 29/7/07 (152)
Nick Gill, v Essendon at Telstra Dome, 29/7/07 (153)
John Meesen, v Western Bulldogs at AAMI Stadium, 19/8/07 (154)
|Club Champion top dozen|
|1: Andrew McLeod 214 votes|
2: Simon Goodwin 180
3: Scott Thompson 167
4: Tyson Edwards 163
5: Ben Rutten 155
6: Ben Hudson 146
7: Nathan van Berlo 140
8: Scott Stevens 140
9: Jason Torney 138
10: Chris Knights 131
11: Scott Welsh 127
12: Robert Shirley 126
(4,3,2,1 by the four coaches)
|49 Scott Welsh|
29 Nathan Bock
24 Brett Burton
18 Ken McGregor
17 Ian Perrie
16 Scott Thompson
15 Scott Stevens
15 Jason Porplyzia
|Brownlow Medal votes|
5 Edwards, Bassett
2 Porplyzia, Ricciuto, Shirley
1 Perrie, Stevens, Griffin, Johncock, Welsh
2007 Life Members
The 2007 squad
Back row (from left): Nathan van Berlo (7), Jason Torney (15), Bernie Vince (28), Kris Massie (3), Ben Rutten (25), Nick Gill (1), Nathan Bock (44), Luke Jericho (30), John Hinge (38), Martin Mattner (39), Scott Welsh (17), Robert Shirley (12), Scott Thompson (5). Third row: Paul Hamilton (assistant coach), Peter Jonas (assistant coach), Graham Johncock (18), Ken McGregor (16), Ivan Maric (20), John Meesen (2), Rhett Biglands (35), Jonathon Griffin (6), Kurt Tippett (4), Ben Hudson (13), James Sellar (29), Ian Perrie (22), Trent Hentschel (37), David Noble (assistant coach).). Second row: Matthew Bode (10), Michael Doughty (11), Tyson Edwards (9), Brett Burton (24), Mark Ricciuto (captain, 32), Neil Craig (senior coach), Simon Goodwin (36), Nathan Bassett (8), Brent Reilly (33), Chris Knights (21), Andrew McLeod (23). Front row: Rhys Archard (rookie, 42), David Mackay (14), Richard Douglas (26), Jason Porplyzia (40), Darren Pfeiffer (19), Greg Gallman (rookie, 45), Bryce Campbell (31), James Turner (rookie, 41), Andrew McIntyre (43).
Adelaide wore a Crows Foundation charity promotion jumper in a pre-season trial against SANFL club Norwood. A Crow was added above the number on the red clash guernsey but faced the opposite way to the normal club style. The red jumper was worn in the elimination final against Hawthorn. The heritage jumper was the same style as the previous year and each player had his name on the blue side panel. The Club pushed to wear the main guernsey in more interstate matches and this was allowed in three games in 2007. This was the first year the AFL logo appeared on the bottom of each number.
Mark Ricciuto and Andrew McLeod; Scott Thompson after the Heritage Round; away jumper; red clash worn by Simon Goodwin and the logo on the back; pre-season charity jumper (Darren Pfeiffer).