Defining moments come when a star player retires, but when you lose four in one season it’s a true changing of the guard.
Adelaide lost the first six games, falling behind the eight-ball early on, before bouncing around to be 3-9 halfway through the year. Carrying confidence, the Crows then won four on the trot, including an 84-point victory over lowly Essendon and a morale boosting win over top-two bound Geelong.
The Crows couldn’t keep up the good form and finished on nine wins, although there was another win over a top four team, St Kilda. Those positives were perhaps overshadowed by high profile retirements and the loss of 1100+ games of experience
Captain Simon Goodwin was the first to announce his retirement at the end of the season just days before Tyson Edwards followed suit in a far more abrupt fashion. Edwards was named as a travelling emergency for the Round 10 game against St Kilda, however he believed he was standing in the way of future talent and retired immediately.
Brett Burton was the next Crow to end his career after struggling to successfully come back from an ankle injury. While he had notified Adelaide it would be his last season, he hoped to play a farewell game. But when the injury proved too tough, he called it quits at Round 20. In another one-two blow, Indigenous AFL legend and two-time Norm Smith medallist Andrew McLeod said the Round 22 game would be his final outing.
McLeod is the Club’s current all-time games leader with 340, ahead of Edwards’ 320. Goodwin made 275 appearances, while Burton played 175 matches.
Richard Douglas was impressive all year and his consistency was rewarded with the Malcolm Blight Medal. Future co-captain Rory Sloane won the Emerging Talent Award alongside defender Phil Davis, who would go on to be a foundation player for expansion team GWS Giants.
Alongside the retirements of Edwards, Goodwin, McLeod and Burton, injury-prone Trent Hentschel ended his decade long career after 71 appearances.