No replacment for otten yet :(

ADELAIDE coach Neil Craig says the race to replace injured defender Andy Otten is wide open, with no one player confirmed as a definite starter for round one.

Otten, 20, had a full knee reconstruction on Friday morning after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a non-contact drill at training on Thursday.

The NAB Rising Star runner-up was trying to sidestep an opponent on Max Basheer Reserve when his knee gave way beneath him.

He heard a crunching sound as he collapsed to the ground and scans that afternoon confirmed he would miss the entire 2010 season.

Craig said Otten had been earmarked for a greater role in the midfield next year.

“It’s really disappointing for Andy. He had an outstanding year, played every game and his form in pre-season had been fantastic,” Craig told afl.com.au. “He’d done a lot of his training in the midfield and was showing some really good signs that he could add to our midfield for 2010, but that’s not going to happen now.

“Andy’s a really strong-minded person, so we need to make sure we use the next 12 months to make him a better player in terms of conditioning, strength, leadership and game knowledge.

“He won’t have another 20-plus games under his belt, but we need to make sure all the other parts of his game progress.”

Otten will join upgraded rookie Brodie Martin, who is five months into his rehabilitation from the same injury, on the sidelines.

The injury to Otten has opened the door for one of No.10 draft pick Phil Davis, utility Will Young or dashing half-back Tony Armstrong to cement a spot in the Crows’ defence.

Craig didn’t even rule out replacing Otten with a draftee, like key-position player Daniel Talia, should a newcomer demand selection over the summer months.

“The sun comes up and the game keeps going on, that’s the reality of it. When Andy went down yesterday you could feel the emotion out there as a group because they all had a fair idea of the severity of it,” he said.

“But we push on because every club has injuries and it will be an opportunity for someone else. I don’t know who those guys are at the moment, but they’ll emerge and that will be based on their performance at training and in the NAB Cup.

“I don’t want to put limitations on any of our players, so if a Rory Sloane, any of our rookies or any of our four, new draftees can push into the side we’ll play them.”

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Filed under 2010 AFC NEWS, 2010 Pre-season news, End 2009 news, OLD NEWS

Injury Almost Ruined Gunstons Chances of playing for the crows

NEW ADELAIDE draftee Jack Gunston only has to look down at his crooked elbow for a reminder of how close he came to missing out on his AFL dream.

The Crows drafted Gunston, 18, with pick No.29 in last week’s NAB AFL Draft but eight months ago a career at the elite level seemed almost inconceivable.

The Haileybury College student was a stranger to the TAC Cup competition before trying out with the Sandringham Dragons last summer.

He survived the initial cut, but two weeks out from the first game his season was put in jeopardy when he suffered a severe elbow injury.

“I was playing in a practice game for Sandy [Sandringham]. I contested the ball and my elbow just popped out. I had to go to hospital and the doctors put my whole arm in a cast,” Gunston said.

“I was more worried about making the Sandringham Dragons’ squad (than the draft) at that stage but then the specialist told me I’d be out for the majority of the season, so it was a pretty down time.”

It took surgeons three hours and a dose of anaesthetic to put Gunston’s elbow back into place.

The initial part of his recovery was slow but the quick-leading forward persisted and surprised everyone, including his specialist, when he returned to the field for Haileybury just eight weeks later.

The 191cm utility caught the attention of Adelaide scouts almost immediately, but the club needed to see more of him before they could commit to selecting him in the November draft.

Fortunately he received a call up to the Sandringham side for the last six games of the season, with his final three performances impressing the Crows.

“I only saw three of his [TAC Cup] games, but I liked his competitiveness and the way he went at the ball,” Adelaide recruiting manager Matt Rendell said.

“I saw him play at full-forward and at full-back and I liked the way he went about playing the full-back role even though he was undersized.

“He’s not going to play full-back at AFL level, but it just showed us what he could do.”

Last year the Crows snapped up injured key position player Phil Davis at what they considered a bargain basement price of pick No.13.

Rendell said there was no doubt both Gunston and the club’s No.13 pick Daniel Talia, who missed part of the season with a hamstring complaint, would’ve been taken higher in the draft if not for injury.

“Jack only played the six [TAC Cup] games and Talia only played three, so it happens with a few of them,” Rendell said.

“Sometimes you just don’t get to see enough of them and it’s hard to pick kids straight out of college because the level of competition falls away pretty quickly.”

Gunston showcased his speed with an impressive time of 2.98sec in the 20m sprint at the Victorian state screening session.

He’s also adept below his knees having played most of his junior footy in the midfield before a growth spurt, adding 13cm in under three years, saw him recast as a forward.

The lifelong Essendon supporter arrived in Adelaide on Monday.

His elbow is still three degrees off where it used to be and at just 74kg he has some work to do in the gym but Gunston said he was looking forward to repaying the Crows’ faith in him.

“I’ve got a big, extended family back at home, so it was a bit sad to say ‘goodbye’ but this is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.”

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Craigy Backs Goodwin To stay as Captain another year

ADELAIDE coach Neil Craig has backed veteran Simon Goodwin to stay on as captain next season, saying the five-time All-Australian is on the verge of becoming the “most outstanding” leader in the club’s history.

Goodwin, who turns 33 next month, has led the Crows to two finals series since taking over from Brownlow Medallist and best mate Mark Ricciuto at the end of 2007.

He recently signed on for a 14th season at West Lakes, but gave no indication as to whether or not he would retain the mantle of skipper next year.

Craig said the decision – to be made before Christmas – would be left up to the players.

“I would be supportive of whatever the playing group wants, but what I will say is that Simon has done an outstanding job,” Craig said on Friday.

“His playing credentials are there for everyone to see and you see his on-field leadership, but what a lot of supporters won’t see is his leadership off the field and on a day-to-day basis. He’s developing into, possibly, the most outstanding captain this club has ever had.

“Is that an endorsement from me? Yes, it is but in the end I’m more concerned about what the playing group expect from their leaders.”

Craig said the players voted in the 2009 leadership group, including Goodwin, Nathan van Berlo, Ben Rutten, Tyson Edwards, Brett Burton, Michael Doughty and Scott Stevens, were no guarantee to be included in the group again next season

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Filed under 2009 end of season 2010 pre-season news

Gold Coast Offer wasnt tempting!

ADELAIDE forward Kurt Tippett has revealed he knocked back an offer from the new Gold Coast franchise to continue his promising AFL career with the Crows.

Tippett, 22, was due to come out of contract at the end of next year but recently agreed to the terms of a new deal, which will see him remain at West Lakes until at least the end of 2012.

The Queenslander joined his teammates for the start of pre-season training on Thursday and said it was a relief to have his contract negotiations out of the way.

“It was great to sign up with the club for three years and I’m very excited that I know where my future is going to be,” Tippett said.

“There was a little bit of heat [on me to stay]. It was great to hear everyone’s support because they all wanted me to stay in Adelaide and so did I. My manager was keen for me to weigh up all the options, although my sole focus was always staying in Adelaide.

“I was kept out if it [the negotiations] but I think my manager had two offers in his head and he came to ask me [what I wanted to do]. He asked me my preference, I told him and he did the business.”

Tippett, who finished second in Adelaide’s goalkicking this year, will now turn his attention to improving his aerobic fitness over the pre-season.

In three years at the club, he is yet to complete a full pre-season, fracturing a vertebra in his neck shortly after arriving in Adelaide at the end of 2006 and battling knee tendonitis last summer.

Tippett said his first goal for pre-season was to set a personal best time in the club’s three-kilometre time trial on Saturday.

“I want to get better aerobically, so I can play in the ruck and also up forward better,” he said.

“I also want to work on my marking and goalkicking skills. I think I can kick a few more goals, so that’s something I’ll be looking to do.”

The Crows sweltered in Thursday’s two-hour training session, with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees.

Tippett said the players had started preparing for the extreme heat early in the week.

“It was pretty warm out there, but it was a good start to pre-season and it looks like it’s going to be a hot one [summer] so we’ll have to get used to that,” he said.

“The doctor had a chat to us, telling us to make sure we stayed hydrated and wore a hat and sunscreen.”

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Tough Fight on Crows spots

The Crows removed five names from their senior list last month, but just one player -unlucky tagger Rob Shirley – will be missing from the semi-final side that lost to Collingwood when the players officially return to training on November 19.

A number of promising youngsters, including NAB Rising Star nominees Andy Otten and Patrick Dangerfield, and also third-year players Kurt Tippett and David Mackay, established themselves as mainstays in the side this year.

The club also blooded five debutants and with players like Phil Davis and Tony Armstrong knocking on the door, Vince said it would be tight for spots in 2010.

“A lot of the young fellas are going to be hungry to get a spot and we’re such an even playing group that it’s going to be pretty tight,” Vince said on Friday.

“We’ve got really high expectations again. We’ve got the same sort of playing group [as this year] and hopefully the younger guys can take that next step again.

“There’s definitely an extra buzz of excitement about next year.”

The Crows players were summoned to West Lakes on Friday for a gruelling morning of fitness testing.

Only injured players and those still holidaying overseas were exempt.

Predictably, Brett Burton and Nathan van Berlo led out the group of 20-plus players, but Vince said it was important everyone was up to speed with their training.

“You have to work hard over the break otherwise you just drop off. We’ve been training in small groups and working pretty hard following our training programs,” Vince said.

“Today will be a pretty solid session. We’ll have a bit of a run and a few blokes will test themselves out to see where they’re at and see if they need to do a bit of extra work before we officially start training.”

Friday also marked the unveiling of Adelaide’s new, predominantly white, away guernsey.

The jumper features the club’s new logo and, like the logo itself, is bound to stimulate debate among Crows’ fans.

Vince said the players were rapt with the new “angrier” design.

“Speaking to a few of the guys before, we think it looks good. It’s a bit more modern than our last logo and we think it’s going to fit us well.”

OLD NEWS

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Filed under 2009 end of season 2010 pre-season news

2010 Gear

VisitCROWmania for all your 2010 Adelaide Football club Jumpers,T-Shirts,Guernseys,Scarfs and even membership.
Or check out the Latest Exclusive to The CROWmania shop at AAMI Stadium in South Australia, The new

First 18

Clothes fashion and accessories line

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Get To know

James Sellar
Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
I have a couple of silly ones. I don’t like having my bag zipped up when I walk from the car to the change-rooms. My dad never used to zip up his bag on the way to volleyball, so I picked that up from him. Also, when we’re running out onto the ground I’ll always pick up a bit of grass, rub it in my hands and throw it to one side.

What’s your favourite TV show?
Two and a Half Men.

What was the last book you read?
An Ogmandino book called The Seven Scrolls. It’s a self-development type book about omens, getting the best out of yourself and positive thinking. It was pretty interesting.

Do you have any bad habits?
I probably don’t wash my clothes as often as I should and my car is a bit messy. I better not tell you too many because everyone will think I’m a grub.

What kind of student were you at school?
I was actually pretty good, surprisingly.

Who spends the most time getting ready at the club?
I spend a bit of time with Chris Knights and he’s usually pretty slow. But if you’re ever going out to dinner – or anywhere really – with Brad Moran, give yourself a good hour-and-a-half because there are hair straighteners, gel, wax, hairspray and maybe even some fake tan involved. It can really be an amazing thing to watch.

What’s your favourite pastime away from footy?
I’ve recently started learning to play the guitar. Nick Gill is teaching me. I’ve borrowed his guitar and he’s given me a few tips along the way. I’m still very average, but it’s a bit of fun. There are a few musos or wannabe musos here. Tony Armstrong thinks he goes alright on the drums and he’s a bit of a beat-boxer too he reckons.

What’s your favourite item of clothing?
My G8 t-shirt from high school. There were a group of us at high school and we called ourselves ‘The G8’. We made up some t-shirts, some hats and I even found a pair of G8 jocks the other day, too. We all had our own little items of clothing, so they’re definitely my favourites.

What’s your earliest football memory?
In one of my very first games in year three I remember rocking up with Dad and we must have been late. I can’t remember all of it, but I remember the team already being out on the ground and I just dropped my bag and ran straight out there. The game started a few minutes later, so it wasn’t a great start to my career.

What’s your middle name?
Michael.

Which team did you support before being drafted by the Crows?
I actually followed the Crows so I was very lucky to be drafted here.

Who is your best mate at the club?
It’s a tough one because there are a lot of good guys here. I like spending time with Chris Knights, Bernie Vince and Nathan Bock. There are a few I get along really well with and it’s a good spot to be.

What was your first job?
I had a paper round. My brother and I would ride our bikes around or throw them out the back of Dad’s ute. We didn’t do a very good job. I used to go to school while my nanna folded them for us and it would only take us 15 minutes to do the round with my brother and I throwing them out each side of the ute. We got a lot of help but it was still a job.

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