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Adelaide Football Club - Crows History Locker


Games Won 11

Ladder Position 10

Premiership position: 10th (11 wins, 11 losses)
Coach: Brenton Sanderson
Captain: Nathan van Berlo

Season 2014 will be remembered for what could have been.

There was much excitement with games at the new Adelaide Oval and the arrival of free agent sensation Eddie Betts but finishing one win short of the top eight was the unfortunate result of inconsistency.

Injuries to key personnel Nathan van Berlo, Brad Crouch, Andy Otten, Tom Lynch and Ricky Henderson marred the summer. Then the Crows and wider AFL community were rocked on the eve of the season by the death of strategy and innovation coach Dean Bailey, after a short battle with cancer. He was 47.

There was a new team to follow in 2014, with Adelaide entering the SANFL competition. This allowed the Club to keep all its AFL-listed players together under the guidance of coach Heath Younie and captain Ian Callinan.

Three straight losses to start the AFL season left the Crows playing catch-up. After going down away to Geelong by 38 points in the opening round, the first AFL game at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval was a Port home Showdown and ended in a crushing 52-point loss. And then Adelaide was thumped by Sydney in its first home game at the venue, by 63 points.

Adelaide squared the ledger and gave members and supporters renewed hope by winning its next three games, but a shock loss to Melbourne at home in round seven was the beginning of a frustrating pattern.

Convincing wins over eventual preliminary finalists North Melbourne and Port Adelaide, and a rare victory over bogey side Collingwood in Taylor Walker’s comeback match and the first ever Thursday night match at the oval, were overshadowed by bitterly disappointing losses to the Demons and Carlton as the Crows maintained a tormenting win-loss trend for two months.

A second win over the Magpies, this time at the MCG, launched Adelaide into the top eight for the first time in Round 18. Finally, it seemed the Crows were on track … until the Club’s finals hopes took a hit with a lacklustre home performance against West Coast, and narrow losses to Richmond and North Melbourne.

The evenness of the competition kept the inconsistent Crows in finals contention until the last minor round. In the end, too many wasted opportunities cost Adelaide a spot in September as a resurgent Richmond won nine straight games to snatch eighth place.

Despite the Club’s patchy form, fans continued to turn out in droves to see their team play at the new Adelaide Oval. An average of 48,046 people watched Crows home games, giving the Club the record for highest AFL home game attendance in Season 2014.

Adelaide unearthed promising players including Matt Crouch, rookie Charlie Cameron and Cam Ellis-Yolmen. Ruckman Sam Jacobs was back to his best, narrowly missing All-Australian selection after being included in the squad of 40 for the second time in three years. Jacobs was the No.1 ruckman according to Champion Data Rankings. He led the AFL in hit-outs to advantage (257); collected more disposals (358); took more marks (90) and generated more rebound 50ms than any other dedicated ruckman.

Defenders Brodie Smith and Matt Jaensch enjoyed breakout seasons. Smith was selected in the All Australian team alongside key defender Daniel Talia, who was crowned Crows Club Champion for the first time after another brilliant season. Talia claimed the lead in the final round of votes to finish ahead of runner-up Rory Sloane and Patrick Dangerfield.

At the opposite end of the ground, Betts (51) and Josh Jenkins (40) kicked career-high goal tallies. Betts, who topped Adelaide’s goalkicking and was included in the 40-man All-Australian squad, was an instant hit in his first season at the Club. He also received the Coach’s Award.

The successful return of Walker, who slotted 34 goals in 15 matches, added potency to the Adelaide attack, which ranked third in the AFL for goals (14.3 average) in 2014.

Emerging leaders Sloane and Dangerfield gained valuable experience as acting co-captains in the absence of van Berlo, who fell just short of making a remarkable comeback from a ruptured Achilles late in the season. Despite being out of finals contention, the season finished on a nice note with a big win against St Kilda as retiring great Ben Rutten slotted a goal with his last kick.

Jason Porplyzia later announced his retirement after 130 AFL games in ten years.

Four-time SANFL premiership player Callinan led the way for the new SANFL side, winning the Club Champion award ahead of first-year Crows Jake Kelly and Riley Knight.

Adelaide finished eighth with seven wins and 11 losses after winning only one of the first seven games.

Adelaide lost its first SANFL game was against North Adelaide at Prospect Oval by 47 points. After another loss to Sturt in round two, the SANFL side broke through for its first win (by 52 points) against Central District at Elizabeth Oval.

The return of Walker after his knee reconstruction helped attract a crowd of more than 9000 to Glenelg on Anzac Day (Walker’s birthday) but the home side kicked away in the last term to win by 37 points.

Adelaide then played Port Adelaide Magpies for the first time in an SANFL Showdown at Clare Oval in the Mid North, losing by 45 points despite Walker’s four goals.

The next win in round eight, against South Adelaide, was followed by a surprise 21-point win over Woodville-West Torrens when development player Gene Robinson booted five goals.

Later wins against North, South, the Eagles and Glenelg lifted Adelaide’s hopes of reaching the finals but it lost the last two rounds to Sturt and Norwood.

Mannum’s Michael O’Malley won the inaugural Dean Bailey Award as the best development player. He was one of 17 from the development squad to play for the SANFL Crows in 2014.

Ultimately, sub-par results on the field saw the Club part ways with AFL senior coach Brenton Sanderson in September. After an extensive process, respected former West Coast and Port Adelaide assistant Phil Walsh was appointed as Sanderson’s successor. Off the field, long-serving CEO Steven Trigg, who announced plans to leave the Club, was replaced by Rugby Union administrator, Andrew Fagan.

Awards and Achievements

All Australians: Daniel Talia, Brodie Smith

Best Team Man: Taylor Walker

Mark Bickley Emerging Talent Award: Charlie Cameron

19th Man Award: Rory Sloane 

Leading goalkicker: Eddie Betts

Club Coach’s Award: Eddie Betts

Dr Brian Sando Award: Nathan van Berlo

Showdown Medal: Sam Jacobs (round 15)

State League Club Champion: Ian Callinan

Dean Bailey Award: Michael O’Malley

AFC Life Membership: Scott Thompson

Other news

  • Adelaide and Port Adelaide secured their independence from the SANFL before the 2014 season, buying their AFL licences back off the state league. The Crows will pay $11.326 million while the Power will pay $6.985m over the next 15 years.
  • Crows legend Andrew McLeod was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame. The brilliant half-back/midfielder played 340 games for the Crows in a decorated career spanning 16 years.
  • In July, the Crows Race at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval was named after Bob Hammond AM, the inaugural AFC Chairman, Life Member and an inductee of the South Australian Football Hall of Fame.
  • Adelaide Crows stalwart Barrie Downs received the AFL’s 2013 Jack Titus Award, recognising more than 60 years’ service to football with South Adelaide, West Adelaide and Adelaide.
  • Scott Thompson played his 250th AFL game in round five and then Brent Reilly returned from a shoulder reconstruction to become the 13th Crow to play 200 AFL games for the Club, in round 13. A limited edition ‘Eddie Betts Pocket’ t-shirt was given to fans sitting in the scoreboard pocket to celebrate his 200th AFL game in round 17.
  • Andy Otten, who missed the entire 2010 season after tearing his left ACL at training, underwent his second knee reconstruction in August 2014 after rupturing the ACL in his right knee at the Gabba in Round 20.
  • Dangerfield and Brodie Smith represented Australia in the International Series against Ireland, in Perth.

List changes

In: Eddie Betts (Carlton), James Podsiadly (Geelong), Matt Crouch (North Ballarat U18), Riley Knight (Woodville-West Torrens). Rookies: Charlie Cameron (Swan Districts), James Battersby (Sturt), Jake Kelly (Oakleigh U18), Alex Spina (North Adelaide).

Out: Bernie Vince (Melbourne), Graham Johncock (retired), Ian Callinan (retired from AFL), Richard Tambling, Nick Joyce, Tim McIntyre, Ben Dowdell, Tim Klaosen, Dylan Orval, Aidan Riley.

First game players

Eddie Betts, v Geelong at Simonds Stadium, 20/3/14 (debut order No. 196)

James Podsiadly, v Geelong at Simonds Stadium, 20/3/14 (197)

Matt Crouch, v Sydney at Adelaide Oval, 5/4/14 (198)

Charlie Cameron, v Collingwood at Adelaide Oval, 15/5/14 (199)

Cam Ellis-Yolmen v Fremantle, Subiaco Oval, 8/6/14 (200)

Related links

Club Champion top dozen
1: Daniel Talia 79
2: Rory Sloane 77
3: Patrick Dangerfield 76
4: Brodie Smith 72
= Sam Jacobs 72
6: Scott Thompson 68
7: Matthew Jaensch 63
8: Eddie Betts 60
9: Josh Jenkins 50
10: Richard Douglas 49
11: James Podsiadly 47
12 =: David Mackay, Taylor Walker 45
(Coaching group allocated votes from 0-8 for each player)
Leading goalkickers
51 Eddie Betts
40 Josh Jenkins
34 Taylor Walker
26 James Podsiadly
17 Patrick Dangerfield
14 Matthew Wright
13 Rory Sloane
Brownlow Medal votes
21 Dangerfield
14 S Thompson
10 Sloane
6 Jacobs
5 Walker
4 Betts
4 Podsiadly
4 Smith
3 Jenkins
Dean Bailey
Club Champion Daniel Talia
Adelaide’s 2014 All Australians Brodie Smith and Daniel Talia

Andrew McLeod was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame

The 2014 squad

Back row (from left): Brodie Martin (36), Matthew Jaensch (10), Jarryd Lyons (31), Mitch Grigg (38), Brodie Smith (33), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (28), Tom Lynch 27), Luke Thompson (6), Sam Shaw (34), Luke Brown (16), Brad Crouch (2), Ricky Henderson (45). Third row: Eddie Betts (18), Ben Rutten (25), Sam Kerridge (17), Andy Otten (22), Lewis Johnston (8), Angus Graham (15), Jack Osborn (30), Sam Jacobs (24), Shaun McKernan (35), Daniel Talia (12), Kyle Hartigan (41), Sam Siggins (20), Josh Jenkins (4), James Podsiadly (1), Jared Petrenko (23). Second row: David Mackay (4), Jason Porplyzia (40), Richard Douglas (26), Patrick Dangerfield (32), Nathan van Berlo (captain, 7), Brenton Sanderson (senior coach), Rory Sloane (9), Scott Thompson (5), Taylor Walker (13), Brent Reilly (3), Matthew Wright (11). Front row: Rory Atkins (21), Jake Kelly (47), James Battersby (43), Rory Laird (29), Matt Crouch (44), Riley Knight (39), Alex Spina (46), Charlie Cameron (42).

2014 Jumpers

There was another change to the collar template. Adelaide wore a one-off guernsey for its first home game at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval in April 2014, featuring names of balloted members, plus players and staff. This was produced at short notice after the Club’s plan to wear a special guernsey for the opening round away Showdown, based on the State jumper, was blocked. In round five the AFL experimented with names on the back of guernseys but the trial was not continued. The Crows wore a guernsey designed by club great Andrew McLeod in Indigenous Round.

The 2014 home guernsey with watermarked Crows logos; Patrick Dangerfield in the one-off jumper to commemorate Adelaide’s first home game at Adelaide Oval; clash jumper, Eddie Betts and James Podsiadly; one-off jumper with player names on back above number; Indigenous Round jumper, with Roy Sloane and Eddie Betts; Heritage prototype.