Games Won 3
Ladder Position 5
Premiership position: 5th (3 wins, 3 losses, one draw).
Coach: Bec Goddard
Captains: Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall
Adelaide’s premiership defence hit early hurdles but the Crows were still a grand final chance with one round to play in the 2018 AFLW season.
The second campaign started slowly after losses to Brisbane and Melbourne in the opening two rounds. But Adelaide then had three exciting wins and a draw to revive its hopes, only to lose to Collingwood in the last round and slide to fifth spot.
Adelaide welcomed nine fresh faces to the playing squad in the off-season.
The Crows secured their first set of sisters, selecting U18 All Australian ruck Jessica Allan with the Club’s first pick in the AFLW Draft. Jess is the younger sister of Crows premiership defender, Sarah.
Athletic utility Jasmyn Hewett, x-factor forward Eloise Jones, Norwood SANFLW premiership players Ruth Wallace and Marijana Rajcic and Army electrician Rheanne Lugg also joined the Crows in the draft.
The Crows also signed former Olympic beach volleyballer Becchara Palmer and rookie-listed smalls Calista Boyd and Brianna Walling.
Kellie Gibson returned to Perth and headlined the departures from Adelaide’s inaugural AFLW squad. Premiership player Heather Anderson retired after suffering a second serious shoulder dislocation during the 2017 grand final.
After dropping the first two games, Adelaide’s first win was worth the wait with a thrilling seven-point victory over eventual premiers, the Western Bulldogs, at home in round three. After missing the first two games with a quad injury, co-captain Erin Phillips returned and kicked a goal in each quarter to be best on ground.
In pouring rain in Sydney, Adelaide and GWS played out a dramatic draw in round four. Trailing by nine points at the last change, Adelaide scored the first ten points of the final quarter, before GWS notched a behind to square the contest. The conditions suited midfielder Ebony Marinoff, who laid 21 tackles (an AFL/AFLW record).
In their last home game of the season the Crows put on a show for the crowd in round five with a 35 point victory over Carlton.
A nail-biter at Darwin’s TIO Stadium had fans on the edge of their seats in round six, with Adelaide clinching a four-point win over Fremantle.
Heading into the final minor round, Adelaide was one of five teams still in contention to finish in the top two and therefore make the grand final.
The Crows started well against Collingwood and kicked 4.6 in the first two quarters but they lost co-captain Chelsea Randall to concussion after half-time, failed to add a goal in the second half and lost by 20 points.
“It was pretty sad, especially when you’re 10 points up at half-time and then you throw away a lead like that,” coach Goddard said after the game.
One of the major highlights for the AFLW team in 2018 was the performance of Randall. She won the Club Champion award, was a joint winner of the AFLW Coaches Association award and also was selected for the second time in the All-Australian team, this time as captain. Randall was also the recipient of the AFLW Players’ Association Most Courageous award for the second time.
Eloise Jones, Sarah Allan and Anne Hatchard each received a Rising Star nomination during the season. Sarah Allan had a break-out year, the key defender finishing runner-up to Randall in the Club Champion votes and earning a nomination for the All Australian team.
Awards and Achievements
All Australians: Chelsea Randall (captain)
Players’ Player Award: Chelsea Randall
Leading goalkickers: Erin Phillips and Ruth Wallace
Best Defensive Player: Sarah Allan
AFL Coaches’ Association Champion Player of the Year: Chelsea Randall
AFLW Players’ Association Most Courageous award: Chelsea Randall
In: Jessica Allan (Salisbury/Glenelg), Eloise Jones (Morphettville Park), Jasmyn Hewett (Stirling North/St Mary’s NT), Ruth Wallace (Adelaide United/Norwood), Marijana Rajcic (Adelaide United/Norwood), Rheanne Lugg (Riverina Lions). Rookies: Becchara Palmer (beach volleyball), Brianna Walling (Morphettville Park/Glenelg), Calista Boyd (Wanderers NT)
Out: Kellie Gibson (Fremantle), Heather Anderson, Tayla Thorn, Monique Hollick, Lauren O’Shea, Jasmine Anderson
First game players
Jessica Allan, v Brisbane at Norwood Oval, 3/2/18 (debut order 26)
Jasmyn Hewett, v Brisbane at Norwood Oval, 3/2/18 (27)
Eloise Jones, v Brisbane at Norwood Oval, 3/2/18 (28)
Rheanne Lugg, v Brisbane at Norwood Oval, 3/2/18 (29)
Ruth Wallace, v Brisbane at Norwood Oval, 3/2/18 (30)
Marijana Rajcic, v Western Bulldogs at Norwood Oval, 17/2/18 (31)
|Club Champion top ten|
|1: Chelseas Randall 162 votes|
2: Sarah Allan 129
3: Ebony Marinoff 123
4: Ange Foley 106
5: Rhiannon Metcalfe 97
6: Deni Varnhagen 95
7: Erin Phillips 92
8: Ruth Wallace 89
9: Eloise Jones 86
10: Justine Mules 82
|7: Erin Phillips|
7: Ruth Wallace
5: Jenna McCormick
|AFLW best and fairest medal|
The 2018 squad
Back row (from left): Back row (L-R) Calista Boyd (12), Brianna Walling (21), Dayna Cox (31), Ruth Wallace (15), Eloise Jones (2), Rachael Killian (7), Jess Sedunary (17), Sophie Armitstead (16), Justine Mules (23), Georgia Bevan (4). Middle: Jenna McCormick (5), Deni Varnhagen (9), Anne Hatchard (33), Marijana Rajcic (32), Sarah Allan (39), Becchara Palmer (18), Rhiannon Metcalfe (11), Jessica Allan (25), Jasmyn Hewett (20), Abbey Holmes (1), Stevie-Lee Thompson (14), Rheanne Lugg (45). Front: Courtney Cramey (22), Sally Riley (8), Sarah Perkins (28), Chelsea Randall (26), Bec Goddard (coach), Erin Phillips (13), Ange Foley (3), Ebony Marinoff (10), Talia Radan (6).
The front of both AFLW jumpers remained almost the same in 2018 but there was a change of number font and sponsor on the back of the home guernsey. The AFLW logo also featured above the numbers, below the neckline, and the front AFL logo had a gold background to honour the club’s 2017 premiership.
Ebony Marinoff, Erin Phillips, and Phillips and Randall in the 2018 jumper; Stevie-Lee Thompson and Cox in the away guernsey; Varnhagen, Sarah Perkins and Phillips celebrate a goal.