Skip to main content
Main content

Adelaide Football Club - Crows History Locker

2018 AFL

Games Won 12

Ladder Position 12

Premiership position: 12th (12 wins, 10 losses).
Coach: Don Pyke
Captain: Taylor Walker

Anything that could go wrong did in 2018, as Adelaide tumbled from AFL grand finalists in 2017 to missing the finals.

The early premiership favourites made an encouraging start to the season, winning six of the first nine games. But a 91-point thrashing at the hands of Melbourne in Alice Springs in round ten was the first of four successive defeats. The Crows could not recover, finishing 12th with a 12-10 record.

The Club’s injury crisis had the most impact on its experienced players. Skipper Taylor Walker struggled with a foot injury for most of the year, Rory Sloane missed almost three months with a foot problem and there was a wave of hamstring injuries.

Brad Crouch (groin) missed the entire season for the second time in his career and Eddie Betts, Andy Otten, Kyle Hartigan, Tom Lynch, Mitch McGovern and Riley Knight were among others to miss chunks of games. Half-back Brodie Smith spent most of the year recovering from his torn ACL but returned to play two AFL games late in the season. McGovern?

On top of these problems, Adelaide was regularly in the national media spotlight after damaging reports surfaced about the club’s pre-season camp on the Gold Coast and subsequent player unrest. The story broke early in the season and did not go away, eventually leading to major changes across the Club.  

There were also significant moves at West Lakes in the off-season.

The Crows lost two of their best young players after the 2017 grand final. Defender Jake Lever was traded to Melbourne and exciting small forward Charlie Cameron moved to Brisbane. But Adelaide was able to secure Carlton midfielder Bryce Gibbs, one year after he asked to move back to South Australia. Experienced North Melbourne midfielder Sam Gibson was also traded in for a late draft pick.

Adelaide claimed Glenelg’s Darcy Fogarty with its first pick in the national draft. The Crows also nominated Jackson Edwards, the son of dual premiership player Tyson, for a rookie father-son selection and picked former SANFL development player Lachlan Murphy as a rookie.  Murphy, who followed friend and Crows draftee Matthew Signorello to South Australia, was the first member of the Club’s SANFL development squad to make it onto an AFL list.

After a six-year break from the Crows, Ben Hart returned to West Lakes. The two-time premiership defender, who began his coaching career with the Crows as an assistant from 2008 to 2011, was appointed assistant coach in charge of the defensive group.

Adelaide led Essendon by 20 points after kicking seven goals in the third term of the opening round but went down by two goals at Etihad Stadium. Fogarty, Tom Doedee and rookie Lachlan Murphy all made their AFL debuts and Gibbs starred in his first game for the Crows.

The Crows did not have to wait long to face 2017 premiers Richmond and this time Adelaide won by six goals at Adelaide Oval, although a win in March was no revenge for the grand final loss.

After Collingwood recorded a 48-point win over Adelaide in round four, wins against Sydney, Gold Coast and Carlton lifted the Crows into third spot. But they then lost the round eight Showdown by five points after leading by 27 points late in the second term. In a hectic last quarter, Adelaide was down by 18 points after eight minutes but kicked three quick goals and was back in front when Mitch McGovern marked and scored with 50 seconds left. Port, however, went forward from the next centre bounce and Steven Motlop won the game.  

Four consecutive losses, starting with a 91-point drubbing at the hands of Melbourne and finishing with the club’s second-lowest ever score of 4.8 (32) against Hawthorn, saw Adelaide limp to its mid-season bye.

From that point the Crows claimed several good wins but not enough to jump back into the top eight. They kicked six last quarter goals to overrun eventual premiers West Coast by ten points in round 15 and also claimed a three-point Showdown win over Port, after a late controversial goal by Josh Jenkins.

Adelaide completed the minor round with wins against North Melbourne and Carlton (by 104 points) but Geelong finished one-game ahead of the Crows and the chasing pack. Four sides finished on 12 wins with Adelaide’s percentage, 104.1, the lowest.

Season Gallery

Rory Laird won his first Malcolm Blight Medal as Club Champion (ahead of runner-up Matt Crouch) and second All-Australian selection, in the back pocket. Crows fans also awarded Laird their Members’ Most Valuable Player award.

Richard Douglas clinched his third Best Team Man award and Jenkins ended Betts’ run of leading goalkicker awards, bagging 46 majors and finishing third in the Club Champion votes.

The upside was the emergence of several youngsters.

After two seasons in the SANFL, first round draft pick Tom Doedee had a breakout first AFL season to finish second in the NAB AFL Rising Star and win Adelaide’s Emerging Talent and Players’ Trademark awards. He excelled as an intercept-marking defender.

Wayne Milera found a home at half back, midfielder Hugh Greenwood had a consistent season to finish sixth in the best and fairest, Fogarty played ten AFL games and Jordan Gallucci played 16 games and showed his potential by kicking four goals in the last round.

Adelaide had a tough season in the SANFL, winning just one game and finishing on the bottom of the ladder for the first time.

Injuries to Adelaide’s senior list challenged the depth of the State League side, with an average of ten development players required to fill the side every game.

Adelaide’s one win came in the round 14 Showdown against Port Adelaide at Kadina. A sensational ten-goal final term with the wind turned the game after Port led by eight points at the last break.

In his first season at the Crows, Sturt premiership player Patrick Wilson dominated the midfield and was rewarded with the State League Club Champion award. Wilson, named in The Advertiser 2018 SANFL Team of the Year, finished on 105 votes, ahead of forward Elliott Himmelberg and midfielder Matthew Signorello (69).

Fifty players represented Adelaide in the SANFL in 2018, with 25 of those being development squad members. Defender Corey Davey, originally from Port Pirie, won the Dean Bailey Award as the best development player.

Awards and Achievements

All Australian: Rory Laird

Phil Walsh Best Team Man: Richard Douglas

Players’ Trademark Award: Tom Doedee

Members MVP Award: Rory Laird

Leading goalkicker: Josh Jenkins

Mark Bickley Emerging Talent Award: Tom Doedee

Dr Brian Sando Award: Tom Doedee

Crows Children’s Foundation Community Leadership Award: Hugh Greenwood

Showdown Medal: –

State League Club Champion: Patrick Wilson

Dean Bailey Award: Corey Davey

AFC Life Membership: Rory Sloane, Andy Otten, Alan Stewart, Rob Reid

Other news

  • Adelaide competed in Group A of the inaugural pre-season AFLX competition. All matches were played at Hindmarsh Stadium on February 15. After defeating Collingwood and West Coast to finish the top of their pool, the Crows defeated Geelong by eight points in the final and became the first AFLX premiers.
  • David Mackay became the 16th Crow to play 200 AFL games for Adelaide, reaching the milestone in Round 21.
  • John Condon was awarded the AFL’s Jack Titus Service Award for outstanding service to football. He had nearly 60 years of commitment to the game across the Prospect, North Adelaide and Adelaide football clubs.
  • Alan Stewart was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the AFL Coaches’ Association for his invaluable contribution to the game. He dedicated more than 50 years to football, including 13 years as a senior recruitment officer at Adelaide before announcing his retirement at the end of 2017. He also received Life Membership of the Adelaide Football Club.

List changes

In: Bryce Gibbs (Carlton), Sam Gibson (North Melbourne), Darcy Fogarty (Glenelg), Andrew McPherson (Woodville-West Torrens), Hugh Greenwood (promoted rookie), Alex Keath (promoted rookie). Rookies: Jackson Edwards (Glenelg, father-son selection), Lachlan Murphy (Northern U18/Crows SANFL development squad), Patrick Wilson (Sturt).

Out: Scott Thompson (retired), Charlie Cameron (Brisbane), Jake Lever (Melbourne), Jonathon Beech, Dean Gore, Troy Menzel, Sam Shaw, Harrison Wigg (Gold Coast)

First game players

Tom Doedee, v Essendon at Etihad Stadium, 23/3/18 (player debut order 216)

Darcy Fogarty, v Essendon at Etihad Stadium, 23/3/18 (217)

Bryce Gibbs, v Essendon at Etihad Stadium, 23/3/18 (218)

Lachlan Murphy, v Essendon at Etihad Stadium, 23/3/18 (219)

Myles Poholke, v Sydney at SCG, 20/4/18 (220)

Sam Gibson, v Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval, 18/5/18 (221)

Patrick Wilson, v Hawthorn at MCG, 16/6/18 (222)

Elliott Himmelberg, v Carlton at Etihad Stadium, 25/8/18 (223)

Related links

Club Champion top ten
1: Rory Laird 222 votes
2: Matt Crouch 166
3: Josh Jenkins 162
4: Bryce Gibbs 149
5: Hugh Greenwood 140
6: Tom Doedee 139
7: Luke Brown 134
= Wayne Milera 134
9: Rory Atkins 128
= Paul Seedsman 128

(Five coaches cast votes 4-0 for every player)
Leading goalkickers
46 Josh Jenkins
29 Eddie Betts
26 Taylor Walker
16 Tom Lynch
16 Hugh Greenwood
Brownlow Medal votes
19 Laird
9 Gibbs
8 M. Crouch
6 Sloane
5 Walker
3 Atkins, Douglas, Jacobs, Jenkins
2 Greenwood, McGovern, Milera, Seedsman
1 Betts, Smith
Club Champion Rory Laird

Life Members

The 2018 squad

Back row (from left): Riley Knight (3), Wayne Milera (30), Sam Gibson (20), Rory Atkins (21), Matthew Signorello (35), Paul Seedsman (11), Brodie Smith (33), Tom Doedee (39), Kyle Cheney (25), Curtly Hampton (17), Luke Brown (16), Rory Laird (29). Third row: Jake Kelly (8), Mitch McGovern (41), Andy Otten (22), Kyle Hartigan (15), Harry Dear (38), Paul Hunter (37), Reilly O’Brien (43), Josh Jenkins (4), Elliott Himmelberg (34), Alex Keath (42), Darcy Fogarty (32), Hugh Greenwood (1), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (28). Second row: David Mackay (14), Eddie Betts (18), Daniel Talia (12), Matt Crouch (5), Taylor Walker (13), Don Pyke (senior coach), Rory Sloane (9), Tom Lynch (27), Sam Jacobs (24), Bryce Gibbs (6), Richard Douglas (26) .Front row: Ben Jarman (45), Jordan Gallucci (7), Andrew McPherson (36), Brad Crouch (2), Patrick Wilson (31), Ben Davis (40), Myles Poholke (10), Jackson Edwards (19), Lachlan Murphy (44).

2018 Jumpers

Another change of collar and the gold guernsey was removed from the jumper set, leaving the white-based guernsey as the only clash option in 2018. It was worn in nine away games. Toyota promoted Hilux and Hybrid on the back of the jumpers. The new Indigenous Round jumper was designed by Crow Wayne Milera’s uncle Roger Rigney. The words “You are a warrior” were written inside the collar on the home and away jumpers.

Taylor Walker, Kyle Cheney and Matt Crouch (main jumper); ‘You are a Warrior’ on the collar; Sam Jacob and Walker (clash); 2018 Indigenous jumper.