An unsteady start to 2009 looked to have the Crows falling to the bottom of the pack following consecutive losses to Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs and Brisbane from rounds 6-8. At that stage, all three of Adelaide’s wins were as the visiting team, including two at the MCG.
But with a stretch of five home games in seven weeks coming up, that form had to change. It happened in style as a 44-point win over Carlton started a seven-game unbeaten run that also saw Adelaide defeat fellow top-eight hopefuls Hawthorn and Essendon.
Against eventual minor premiers St Kilda, Adelaide’s streak ended in Round 16 before a huge Showdown win – and a three-game win streak to end the season – guided Adelaide to fifth.
Entering finals there was one dark cloud hanging over the Club, and that was one win from seven games against the top four teams. The Crows showed no doubts against Essendon in the elimination final in a ruthless 96-point win, before facing Collingwood.
The Magpies finished fourth and had only won one more game than Adelaide but at the MCG, Adelaide’s half-time lead evaporated and the Pies snuck home by five points.
Bernie Vince was named Club Champion while captain Simon Goodwin was Adelaide’s only All-Australian. Vince and forward Jason Porplyzia were named in the 40-man team but didn’t make the final team. It was Goodwin’s fifth All-Australian selection.