Adelaide Football Club
||This article reads more like a story than an encyclopedia entry. (April 2014)|
|Full name||Adelaide Football Club|
|Motto||Natus Ad Magna Gerenda (Born to Great Things)|
|Leading goalkicker||Eddie Betts (51)|
|Best and fairest||Daniel Talia|
|Colours||Navy Blue Red Gold|
|Competition||Australian Football League|
|Captain(s)||Nathan van Berlo|
|Premierships||2 (1997, 1998)|
|Ground(s)||Adelaide Oval (2014-Present) (capacity: 53,540)
Football Park (1991-2013) (capacity: 51,240)
The Adelaide Football Club, nicknamed "The Crows", is a professional Australian rules football club that competes in the Australian Football League (AFL). The club is based in Adelaide, South Australia, playing its home matches at Adelaide Oval. The club has its training and administration base at Football Park in West Lakes, where it previously played home matches between 1991-2013. The club song is "The Pride of South Australia", to the tune of the Marines' Hymn.
The Crows were formed in 1990 as a composite team owned by the SANFL and played their first season in 1991. They won both the 1997 and 1998 Grand Finals and have appeared in twelve finals series in their 23-year history. As of 2014, the Crows are the only club to have never lost an AFL Grand Final in which it has contested. As a tribute to the team's success over the years, the Crows have been informally nicknamed "the team for all South Australians".
- 1 History
- 1.1 Formation
- 1.2 1991 season
- 1.3 1992 season
- 1.4 1993 season
- 1.5 1994 season
- 1.6 1995 season
- 1.7 1996 season
- 1.8 1997 season
- 1.9 1998 season
- 1.10 1999 season
- 1.11 2000 season
- 1.12 2001 season
- 1.13 2002 season
- 1.14 2003 season
- 1.15 2004 season
- 1.16 2005–2006: Success and frustration
- 1.17 2007–2009: Finals failure
- 1.18 2010–2011: In the wilderness
- 1.19 2012–2014: The Sanderson factor
- 2 Club symbols
- 3 Membership base and sponsorship
- 4 Club honour board
- 5 Pre-season competition
- 6 SANFL team
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Throughout the 1980s, the Victorian Football League (VFL) began to expand outside of Victoria, firstly by the relocation of a team into New South Wales (Sydney Swans) in 1982, and then the expansion into Western Australia (West Coast Eagles) and Queensland (Brisbane Bears) in 1987. However, the SANFL was against a South Australian team joining the VFL under the financial terms offered throughout the 1980s. To circumvent this, the VFL negotiated directly with both the Port Adelaide and Norwood Football Clubs during the late 1980s, but did not come to an agreement.
After the VFL was renamed the AFL for the 1990 season, the SANFL clubs unanimously resolved, in May 1990, that a team would not be entered into the AFL until season 1993. The AFL refused to accept this, and revised negotiations with individual clubs. Two months later, the Port Adelaide Football Club reached heads of agreement with the AFL to enter a team into its competition in season 1991. The other nine SANFL clubs reacted strongly and entered into litigation in an endeavour to halt Port's bid. As the terms offered were more favourable than previously offered, talks were resumed. On 19 September 1990, the AFL approved the bid for a new South Australian club to enter to the league, rather than a single existing SANFL club.
Adelaide's first AFL game was against Hawthorn on Friday 22 March at their then home ground, Football Park (later renamed AAMI Stadium). The Crows defeated the eventual premiers by a hefty 86-point margin, winning 24.11 (155) to 9.15 (69). The Crows went on to finish in ninth place out of 15 teams on the AFL ladder, with 10 wins and 12 losses and a percentage of 89.44.
Mark Mickan won the club's first Club Champion award (later named the Malcolm Blight Medal) for the club's best and fairest player throughout the season, with Tony McGuinness finishing runner-up. Rod Jameson was the club's leading goalkicker with 49, while Nigel Smart was named in the AFL All-Australian team.
The Crows again finished in ninth place in 1992, with an 11-11 win-loss record and a percentage of 101.36.
Chris McDermott won the Club Champion award from Tony McGuinness, while Scott Hodges led the club's goalscoring with 48 goals, including a haul of 11 against Geelong in round 23. McDermott, McGuinness and defender Ben Hart were all named in the 1992 All-Australian team.
During the post-season trading period, Adelaide traded in future dual premiership player Matthew Robran from Hawthorn for pick 11 in the national draft, as well as receiving Sydney's Stuart Wigney for pick 71.
Adelaide finished fifth on the ladder after the home-and-away season in 1993, with 12 wins and 8 losses and a percentage of 117.83, including a home record of 9 wins out of 10 at Football Park. The Crows had to defeat Collingwood at home in the last match of the season to make the top six and thus qualify, and despite conceding six goals to one in the first quarter they did so by 24 points, 19.21 (135) to 17.9 (111).
Under the McIntyre final six system in use, Adelaide travelled to play against fourth-placed Hawthorn at the MCG the next week, in the First Elimination Final. With Nigel Smart kicking four goals, Adelaide won 16.14 (110) to 13.17 (95). Because sixth-placed West Coast had defeated third-placed North Melbourne, Adelaide progressed to the Second Semi Final against Carlton at Waverley Park, with a double-chance ensuring they would not be knocked out of the finals by a loss. The Crows lost to Carlton by 18 points, 13.8 (86) to 8.20 (68), and thus had to play Essendon in the Preliminary Final, with the winner to play Carlton in the Grand Final. Whilst technically a Crows home game, the match was played at the MCG due to an agreement with the Melbourne Cricket Club that a match had to be played at the MCG during every week of the finals. Against Essendon, the Crows led by 42 points at half-time before collapsing to lose by 11: 17.9 (111) to 14.16 (100). Adelaide player Mark Bickley later suggested that the players' poor performance during the second half may have been caused by the team's lack of concentration and resolve during the coach's half time address. The loss ended the Crows' season, while Essendon then went on to defeat Carlton a week later and thus win the Premiership.
Tony McGuinness won the Club Champion award from Mark Bickley, while full-forward Tony Modra kicked a club record 129 goals for the season, including finals, to be the club's leading goalkicker. Modra also was awarded the AFL Mark of the Year for his spectacular mark in round 8 against North Melbourne at Football Park. McGuinness, Modra, Greg Anderson, Ben Hart and Nigel Smart were all named in the All-Australian team for 1993. The AFL Rising Star award was also first awarded in 1993, with Mark Ricciuto being nominated for his 28-disposal performance against Richmond in round 16.
Adelaide started the 1994 season by making the final of the pre-season knockout competition. In the competition, then known as the Foster's Cup, they played Essendon in the final and lost, 15.12 (102) to 9.14 (68).
In 1994, Adelaide missed the finals for the third year out of four in the competition, finishing in 11th place with 9 wins and a draw from their 22 matches, and a percentage of 86.89. Adelaide's draw against St Kilda at Waverley Park in round 14 remains their only draw in the AFL to date.
Shaun Rehn was the club's Club Champion in 1994 with Tony McGuinness finishing runner-up. Tony Modra kicked 70 goals to finish as the club's leading goalscorer, while Rehn and Mark Ricciuto were both All-Australians, and Matthew Kluzek and Sean Wellman achieved Rising Star nominations. Following the season, coach Graham Cornes was sacked and replaced by Robert Shaw, while Tony McGuinness replaced Chris McDermott as captain.
During the off-season, Adelaide secured future champion Andrew McLeod in a trade with new club Fremantle, in exchange for Chris Groom. They also traded for Collingwood's Jason McCartney for draft picks 9 and 53, and West Coast's Matthew Connell for pick 44. The Crows also recruited future premiership players Peter Vardy (pick 7) and Tyson Edwards (pick 21) in the 1995 pre-season draft.
Adelaide again made the final of the pre-season competition, now known as the Ansett Cup, in 1995. They defeated Geelong, West Coast and Sydney before losing to North Melbourne in the final, 14.9 (93) to 8.15 (63).
For the second successive season, Adelaide finished in 11th place on the AFL ladder, with a win-loss record of 9-13 and percentage of 80.08. Matthew Connell won the Club Champion award from Andrew Jarman, while Tony Modra again led the Crows' goalscoring with 42 goals. No Crows were selected in the 1995 All-Australian team. Martin McKinnon and Andrew McLeod were both nominated for the Rising Star award.
In the post-season trading period, the Crows secured Hawthorn premiership player Darren Jarman, brother of Andrew Jarman, in a complicated deal that saw them give up national draft pick 25 to Hawthorn and Sean Wellman to Essendon. Adelaide also traded in Kym Koster (Footscray) for pick 9, Troy Bond (Carlton) for pick 63 and Peter Caven (Sydney) for Paul Rouvray, and drafted Kane Johnson (pick 27, national draft), Shane Ellen (pick 8, pre-season draft) and Simon Goodwin (pick 18, pre-season draft); all would become premiership players for the club.
Adelaide started the 1996 season in good form, winning their first four matches and six of their first eight. However, they won just two more matches for the season: home matches against the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy. They finished the season in 12th position, with 8 wins, 14 losses and a percentage of 95.96. 7 of these wins were at home; away from home they defeated only last-placed Fitzroy, in round 2.
The Club Champion for 1996 was awarded to Matthew Liptak from Nigel Smart, while Darren Jarman was Adelaide's sole All-Australian representative. No Crows were nominated for the 1996 Rising Star award. For the fourth season in a row, Tony Modra topped Adelaide's goalkicking with 75. Ben Hart was awarded the AFL Mark of the Year for his mark against St Kilda in Round 8.
Coach Robert Shaw was replaced at the end of the season by former Woodville and North Melbourne player Malcolm Blight. Blight made an immediate impact upon arriving at the club, delisting captain Tony McGuinness and fan favourite Andrew Jarman in addition to retiring former captain Chris McDermott. Mark Bickley was appointed McGuinness' replacement as captain.
During the off-season, Adelaide traded in Brett James (Collingwood) for Jonathon Ross; Trent Ormond-Allen and Clay Sampson (Melbourne) for pick 83 and Nick Pesch; Tim Cook, Aaron Keating and Nick Laidlaw (Port Adelaide) for Scott Hodges and David Brown; and Barry Standfield (Footscray) for picks 32 and 47. Notable draftees included future premiership players Andrew Eccles (pick 60, national draft), Chad Rintoul (pick 69, national draft) and Ben Marsh (pick 5, rookie draft).
1997 marked the entry of a second South Australian club, Port Adelaide. The lingering resentment from the circumstances surrounding Adelaide's entry to the competition created a healthy rivalry between the teams, and clashes between them became known as Showdowns.
Adelaide started the 1997 season by defeating the newly formed Brisbane Lions (created by the merging of the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy) but then lost three consecutive games, including an 11-point loss to Port Adelaide in the first Showdown in Round 4, 11.17 (83) to 11.6 (72). However, Adelaide rebounded to win 11 of their next 15 matches, including five in a row between rounds 7 and 11. After defeating Port Adelaide by 7 points in round 19, Adelaide were top of the ladder with three matches to play; however, they won just one of those three games and qualified for the finals in fourth place with a 13-9 record.
At the time the McIntyre Final Eight System was in use, meaning the Crows hosted fifth-placed West Coast in the First Elimination Final. In the first final ever to be played at Football Park, the Crows won 14.15 (99) to 9.12 (66). The next week, Adelaide hosted Geelong, who had come second but lost the previous week to North Melbourne, in the Second Semi Final, winning narrowly: 11.10 (76) to 9.14 (68). This set up an away Preliminary Final against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG. Despite losing Coleman Medallist Tony Modra, who had kicked 84 goals for the season, to an ACL injury in the first quarter and trailing by 31 points at half time, the Crows kicked four unanswered goals in the last quarter to record a two-point victory, 12.21 (93) to 13.13 (91), with Darren Jarman kicking a goal to put Adelaide in front with less than two minutes remaining. This allowed the Crows to qualify for their first AFL Grand Final, to be played against St Kilda at the MCG a week later.
St Kilda, chasing their second Premiership in VFL/AFL history, were warm favourites to win the Grand Final, having come first in the minor round and won both of their finals by margins of 46 and 31 points, against an Adelaide side without Tony Modra, Mark Ricciuto and goalsneak Peter Vardy due to injury. However, the Crows again overcame a half-time deficit, kicking 14 second-half goals to win by 31 points, 19.11 (125) to 13.16 (94). Darren Jarman kicked six goals, five of which came in the last quarter, whilst utility Shane Ellen kicked a career-best five and Troy Bond kicked four. Andrew McLeod, who gathered 31 possessions across half-back and in the midfield, won the Norm Smith Medal for the best player on-field in the Grand Final.
Andrew McLeod was the Crows' Club Champion in 1997, while Darren Jarman was runner-up. In addition to winning the Coleman Medal and being the club's leading goalkicker for the fifth straight season, Tony Modra was also awarded the AFL Mark of the Year for the second time, for his mark on the goal line over Mick Martyn against North Melbourne at Football Park in Round 12. Modra was also named at full-forward in the All-Australian team, while Mark Ricciuto was named on the interchange bench. Kane Johnson and Peter Vardy both achieved Rising Star nominations.
For the second successive season, the Crows started slowly in 1998, winning just three of their first eight matches. From there they improved their win-loss record to 13-9, the same as the previous year. They did not seal their place in the top eight until the final round, when they defeated West Coast at Subiaco Oval by 25 points to clinch fifth place. Adelaide struggled throughout the season to win close matches; seven of their nine losses were by 13 points or less, compared to only three wins by corresponding margins.
The Crows travelled to face Melbourne at the MCG in the First Qualifying Final and were defeated easily, 17.13 (115) to 9.13 (67). However, as the highest-placed loser under the McIntyre Final Eight System they received a reprieve, and travelled to the SCG to play Sydney. With Peter Vardy kicking six goals, Adelaide won 14.10 (94) to 10.7 (67). This led them, for the second year in a row, to play the Western Bulldogs in a Preliminary Final at the MCG. In contrast to the thriller that took place the previous year, however, the Crows defeated the Bulldogs soundly, 24.17 (161) to 13.15 (93). Matthew Robran kicked six goals and Andrew McLeod, opposed to renowned tagger Tony Liberatore, booted seven.
Like the previous year, Adelaide went into the Grand Final as underdogs, playing against North Melbourne, who had won the Premiership in 1996 and had won eleven consecutive matches leading up to the Grand Final. North Melbourne led by 24 points at half-time, 6.15 (51) to 4.3 (27), with only their inaccurate goalkicking keeping Adelaide in the contest. However, as they had in the previous year, Adelaide dominated the second half to win by 35 points, 15.15 (105) to 8.22 (70). Darren Jarman kicked five goals, while Andrew McLeod won his second successive Norm Smith Medal, an unprecedented feat.
Mark Ricciuto won the Crows' Club Champion award in 1998, while Nigel Smart was runner-up. Ricciuto, Smart, Andrew McLeod and Shaun Rehn were all named in the All-Australian side, while Andrew Eccles was nominated for the AFL Rising Star award. Darren Jarman was Adelaide's leading goalkicker with 45.
The Crows made a good start to their premiership defence in 1999 with four wins in the first six rounds, before struggling for the rest of the season, winning only four more games. They eventually finished 13th with an 8-14 win-loss record, their lowest ever finish at the time, and the lowest finish by a reigning premier in VFL/AFL history.
Malcolm Blight resigned as coach at the end of the season, to be replaced by Gary Ayres, while popular defender (and inaugural leading goalkicker) Rod Jameson also played his final game in Adelaide's round 22 loss to the Kangaroos (newly renamed from North Melbourne). The Crows' Club Champion award, renamed the Malcolm Blight Medal in Blight's honour, was won by Ben Hart from Andrew McLeod. Hart was also Adelaide's only All-Australian representative. David Gallagher and Brett Burton both received AFL Rising Star nominations, while Darren Jarman led Adelaide's goalkicking for the second consecutive year with 58 goals.
Adelaide lost their first five matches in 2000, placing them at the bottom of the AFL ladder at this stage. This continued after they had lost the last four games of the previous season; their nine-game losing streak overall remains a club record. Adelaide then won seven of the next nine matches, improving their win-loss record to 7-7 after round 14, at which point they moved into the top eight. However, the Crows finished poorly, eventually finishing 11th with a 9-13 record.
Simon Goodwin won the Malcolm Blight Medal in 2000, with Andrew McLeod finishing runner-up. Scott Welsh led the club's goalscoring with 47. Goodwin, McLeod and Mark Ricciuto were named in the All-Australian team, while Ian Perrie was nominated for the Rising Star award. At the end of the season, Mark Bickley stepped down as captain, and Ricciuto took over.
Adelaide showed inconsistent form in 2001; after losing their opening three matches, they won 12 of their next 18 to seal their first finals spot since 1998 with a round to spare. By defeating bottom-placed Fremantle, who had won just one match for the season, at Subiaco Oval in the final round, the Crows could have had a chance to host a final under the new top eight system implemented in 2000, but they lost by 37 points and finished in eighth place with a 12-10 record. Adelaide won just six matches at home in 2001, an equal club worst at the time, but won a club best six matches outside of South Australia.
Adelaide played fifth-placed Carlton at the MCG in the First Elimination Final. They had defeated Carlton twice during the year, but Carlton turned the tables by eliminating Adelaide, 17.16 (118) to 6.14 (50). Their 68-point loss was their worst losing margin of the season, and Darren Jarman announced his retirement after the match.
In addition to finishing runner-up to Jason Akermanis in the 2001 Brownlow Medal, Andrew McLeod won the Malcolm Blight Medal from Mark Stevens, becoming the Medal's first dual winner. Darren Jarman kicked 40 goals to top the Crows' goalkicking, while McLeod and Simon Goodwin were named in the All-Australian team. Adelaide did not receive any Rising Star nominations in 2001.
Adelaide won their first three matches in 2002, and despite a mid-season slump of three losses in a row (Rounds 12-14) they finished the season in third place with a 15-7 win-loss record, both club bests at the time. The Crows won all 13 of their matches against teams that did not make the finals, but only two out of nine matches against fellow top eight teams: a 7-point triumph over reigning (and eventual) Premiers the Brisbane Lions in Round 10 and a 48-point victory over Essendon in Round 19, both at Football Park.
Under the AFL finals system, the Crows faced second-placed Brisbane at The Gabba in the Second Qualifying Final and lost by 71 points, 17.13 (115) to 5.14 (44). Due to finishing in the top four, Adelaide received a double chance and a "home" Semi Final against Melbourne, played at the MCG due to the MCC agreement. Adelaide led by 40 points at quarter time, before the Demons rallied, taking a 29-point lead late in the third quarter. However, the Crows responded with a final-quarter surge to win by 12 points, 20.10 (130) to 17.16 (118). The win gave them a Preliminary Final berth against Collingwood at the MCG. Adelaide led in the second quarter but Collingwood surged to win, 13.13 (91) to 9.9 (63), progressing to the Grand Final at Adelaide's expense. Collingwood would lose to Brisbane the following week in the first of successive Grand Finals to be contested by the two teams.
Ben Hart won his second Malcolm Blight Medal in 2002, with Tyson Edwards finishing runner-up. Brett Burton led the Crows' goalkickers with 51. Hart and Mark Ricciuto were both named as All-Australians, while for the second successive season, Adelaide had no Rising Star nominees. In the off-season, Adelaide secured the services of champion centre half forward Wayne Carey in a trade with the Kangaroos.
Adelaide started 2003 by winning the pre-season competition for the first time in their history. They defeated Port Adelaide, West Coast and the Kangaroos before facing Collingwood in the final, which they won, 126.96.36.199 (104) to 188.8.131.52 (73). (An explanation of scoring is given on this page.)
Adelaide again made the finals in 2003, winning nine matches out of eleven between Rounds 9 and 19 to sit second on the ladder with a 13-6 record with three rounds to play. However, they lost all three of those matches to finish in sixth position. Eight of Adelaide's nine losses were by three goals or less, including a 5-point loss to Collingwood at the newly renamed AAMI Stadium in Round 7, where Chris Tarrant kicked the winning goal after the siren.
Adelaide faced seventh-placed West Coast at AAMI Stadium in the Second Elimination Final and won easily, 16.17 (113) to 8.9 (57). This set up an away Semi Final against the Brisbane Lions at The Gabba, which the Crows lost, 18.16 (124) to 12.10 (82): their greatest losing margin of the season. This game marked the final appearance for dual premiership captain Mark Bickley. Brisbane went on to defeat Sydney and then Collingwood to claim their third successive Premiership.
In 2003, Adelaide captain Mark Ricciuto became the first Crow to win the Brownlow Medal for the best and fairest player in the AFL in a three-way tie with Adam Goodes and Nathan Buckley. He also won the Malcolm Blight Medal from Tyson Edwards, and was Adelaide's sole All-Australian for the year. Graham Johncock led the club's goalkicking with 30, one ahead of Wayne Carey who booted 29. For the third year in a row, no Crows were nominated for the Rising Star award in 2003.
Adelaide lost their first four matches in 2004, at which point they sat on the bottom of the AFL ladder. Victories over Richmond, Port Adelaide and Hawthorn lifted them off the bottom but they failed to win successive matches in the first half of the season. Wayne Carey suffered a serious neck injury in Adelaide's Round 12 loss to West Coast at Subiaco Oval, which left them with a 3-9 record. Carey announced his retirement soon afterwards, having played 28 games and kicked 56 goals for the club. Nigel Smart, the last remaining player from Adelaide's inaugural match against Hawthorn in 1991, also announced he would retire after the following week's match against Western Bulldogs at AAMI Stadium. The Crows won the match by 32 points, after which coach Gary Ayres was told his contract would not be renewed at the end of the season. Ayres elected to resign immediately, and assistant coach Neil Craig was appointed caretaker coach for the remainder of the season.
In Craig's first match as senior coach, Adelaide thrashed Melbourne, at the time second on the ladder, by 72 points at AAMI Stadium. The Crows lost their next three matches, including a club record 141-point loss to Brisbane Lions at The Gabba, but rebounded to win three of their last five. Ultimately the Crows finished 12th on the ladder with an 8-14 record, including 4-5 under Craig, who was appointed Adelaide's senior coach from 2005.
Mark Ricciuto was the Malcolm Blight Medal winner for the second consecutive year, while Tyson Stenglein finished runner-up. Ricciuto was also the team's only All-Australian representative for the second year running, and became the first Crow to be named All-Australian captain. Brent Reilly became Adelaide's first Rising Star nominee since 2000, for his performance in Adelaide's home loss to Fremantle in Round 16. Scott Welsh topped the club's goalkicking with 36.
2005–2006: Success and frustration
|2005 AFL Home & Away Season||W||L||D||Total||%|
2005 saw Adelaide have their best home and away season in the history of the club, finishing 17–5 and winning the club's first ever McClelland Trophy for finishing atop the ladder after the home-and-away season. The Crows had started promisingly after the disappointment of 2004 winning 4 of their first 6 matches, and gathered momentum as the season progressed, winning 10 matches in a row from rounds 13 to 22. The last of these was a stunning eight-point victory over hot premiership favourites the West Coast Eagles at Subiaco Oval, in a match that saw them leapfrog the Eagles into top spot.
However, in the match against West Coast, captain Mark Ricciuto was reported for striking Adam Selwood and subsequently suspended for one match. He thus missed Adelaide's home Qualifying Final against St Kilda, a massive blow that in the eyes of many proved the deciding factor. In a low scoring struggle, St Kilda led most of the way and beat the leaderless Adelaide Crows by eight points. The loss set up a sudden death Semi Final against bitter rival and reigning premier Port Adelaide. The Crows regained Ricciuto, and in one of the most keenly anticipated matches in South Australian football history, they destroyed the Power by 83 points (a record for matches between the two clubs) in front of a crowd of 50,521. However, Adelaide's celebrations were short-lived, with the team suffering a season-ending 16-point Preliminary Final loss to West Coast at Subiaco. In a tough, close encounter in windy and overcast conditions, a third quarter Adelaide lapse saw the Eagles mount a match-winning lead in front of a hostile home crowd. The Crows fell 35 points behind but made a late comeback before the Eagles put the game away for a 16-point win. Adelaide joined Essendon (1999) and Port Adelaide (2002 and 2003) as recent AFL minor premiers who had failed to make the grand final.
2006 was a year of individual milestones for the Adelaide Crows. Ben Hart entered his 15th season and became the first player in Crows history to play 300 games, achieving the feat in a loss in round 2 against West Coast. Andrew McLeod entered his 12th season and played his 250th game in a 138-point dismantling of Essendon in round 10. Mark Ricciuto also celebrated his 300th game with five goals in the Crows' round 16 victory over the Kangaroos on a Friday night. In each game the crowd provided a fitting tribute to the three club legends, who had amassed an amazing 17 All Australian selections between them over the years.
After 16 rounds, Adelaide sat on top of the AFL ladder with a 14–2 win/loss record, and the best percentage since West Coast in 1991; the only slip-ups being narrow losses against the Eagles in round 2 and Richmond in round 8, in a match known for Richmond's controversial but successful "keepings-off" tactics. However, with little warning, the Crows were thumped by a massive 82 points in round 17 by West Coast. This loss set off a dramatic change of fortunes for the Crows, as after rebounding the following week with a narrow win over Collingwood, injuries and a sudden loss of form would see the Crows lose their next three consecutive games to Fremantle, the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide. In a dramatic twist of fate, the Crows took to the field in round 22 against Melbourne with several key contributors from 2006 on the sidelines including Ricciuto – who had been diagnosed with a rare virus – McLeod, Hart, Brett Burton and leading goalkicker Trent Hentschel, who had suffered a shocking knee injury against Port Adelaide that would keep him out of the game for the next two seasons. However, they managed to win their first game in nearly a month, thrashing the Demons by 58 points and finishing the minor round in second place behind West Coast, with 16 wins and 6 losses.
Fielding the same undermanned team in the Qualifying Final against third-placed Fremantle, the Crows produced arguably one of the best performances in the club's history to win by 30 points after trailing for most of the game in blustery conditions. This gave the team a valuable week's rest, and enabled the club to rush McLeod and Burton into the side for the Preliminary Final. For the second year in a row the opponent was the unbackable West Coast Eagles, however this time the match would be played at AAMI Stadium. The Crows lost ruckman Rhett Biglands to a serious knee injury early in the game, and despite leading the minor premiers at half time, the Eagles again dominated the 3rd quarter to set up victory and held on despite a desperate Adelaide surge to win by 10 points. For the second year in a row, captain Mark Ricciuto was forced to endure a home final loss from the sidelines. Although injuries and illness conspired against the Crows, supporters and players alike will remember 2006 with bitter disappointment as the one that got away.
2007–2009: Finals failure
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. (July 2014)|
After losing their first home game of the 2007 season to Essendon, Adelaide won their next 3 games before suffering a costly loss to Fremantle by a point at Subiaco Oval in round 5, the third such loss in their history. They then faced a tough task against a Collingwood side at home with Adelaide coming off a six-day break, compared to Collingwood's 10-day break after their ANZAC Day win and good record at AAMI Stadium, and the fatigue showed in a last-quarter fade out that saw the Magpies claim a 24-point win. These opening rounds set the tone for a see-sawing season, as Adelaide won their next three games before winning only two of the nine games following to fall out of the eight by one game. An 8-point come-from-behind victory over Port Adelaide in round 18 proved the breakout; despite falling to eventual premiers Geelong the next week, Adelaide beat the Western Bulldogs in round 20 to secure successive home wins for the first time in the season and keep their finals hopes alive. In round 21 the Crows took on Brisbane in front of an emphatic crowd of 46,500, in what was Mark Ricciuto's last home game before his retirement at the end of the season, and won convincingly despite inaccurate kicking. This moved them back inside the eight; however, they needed to defeat top four contenders Collingwood at the Telstra Dome to secure their place. This they did by 19 points, setting up an away Elimination Final.
Despite finishing eighth, Adelaide entered the First Elimination Final against fifth-placed Hawthorn with a great deal of excitement after having thrashed the Hawks mid-season. In a see-sawing, free-flowing game, Adelaide led by 31 points just before half-time, but started to wilt under pressure in the second half. In a heartstopping finish, Lance Franklin's 7th goal in the dying seconds of the game gave Hawthorn victory. Eighth place finished a rather disappointing season for the Crows, during and after which coach Neil Craig was criticised by the fans due to his strict rules and game-plan.
2008 saw a new-look Adelaide side, with departures besides Ricciuto including Jason Torney (retired), Martin Mattner (Sydney), Scott Welsh and Ben Hudson (both Western Bulldogs). The acquisition of Brad Symes (from Port Adelaide) supported Neil Craig's plan to rejuvenate the ageing midfield, while Brad Moran (North Melbourne, having reverted to their original name) added depth in the ruck and key position divisions, and several other younger players began to take up major roles. Additionally, former Adelaide players Ben Hart and Matthew Clarke were appointed as assistant coaches.
Adelaide had a promising start in the pre-season NAB Cup, losing the final to St Kilda, and by the middle of the year they had amassed a solid 8–3 win/loss record and sat in fourth place on the table, surprising critics who expected the Crows to "bottom out". The lack of a settled forward line was compensated for by a very strong defence led by Ben Rutten, Nathan Bassett and 2008 All-Australian Nathan Bock. However, a combination of a tough draw, a tiring midfield and injuries – a season-ending knee injury to Brett Burton and a recurring shoulder dislocation for Jason Porplyzia – resulted in five straight losses from round 12, and saw the club slide to ninth on the premiership ladder after a round 16 defeat to Port Adelaide. The earlier-than-expected return of Porplyzia in round 17 saw a return to good times for the club as they won five of their last six home-and-away matches. During round 22, after a shock victory over the third-placed Western Bulldogs, the Crows found themselves in fourth position, but a big win by St Kilda over Essendon the next day saw them fall to fifth, with a 13–9 record and a percentage of 109.74.
Collingwood visited Adelaide in the first week of the finals and capitalised on their good record at AAMI Stadium, running out winners by 31 points despite a standout performance from Scott Stevens, who booted six goals. This loss dropped the Crows to 7th at the end of the season, a disappointing result after such a promising start to the season. There were signs of good things to come, however, with the likes of Scott Thompson, Bernie Vince and Nathan van Berlo having breakout seasons, and youngsters such as Kurt Tippett and David Mackay showing plenty of promise.
2009 saw more change for the Adelaide side, as Bassett, Biglands and Ken McGregor were lost to retirement. Patrick Dangerfield, Andy Otten and Taylor Walker had breakout seasons, while Jared Petrenko, Myke Cook and James Sellar showed signs of good things to come.
The pre-season was disappointing, with a first round exit against Geelong; the 35-point loss was also Trent Hentschel's return after his horrific knee injury in 2006. The Crows struggled early after a rare win over Collingwood at the MCG, falling to a 3-5 record after 8 rounds. A mid season run of seven straight wins then put the Crows into position to make the finals for the 8th time in the decade, with their stingy defence holding three sides (Melbourne, Carlton and Fremantle) goalless to half-time, and restricting Fremantle to just 1.7 (13) in their round 15 match - the lowest score of any VFL/AFL side since 1961. Adelaide then faced a difficult run of games, losing to eventual top four sides St Kilda, Geelong and Collingwood within the next four weeks. Despite big wins over Hawthorn, West Coast and Carlton in the final three rounds, Adelaide failed to secure a top four spot and the crucial double chance, finishing the season in 5th for the second year running, with a 14–8 record and a percentage of 117.61.
Essendon visited AAMI Stadium in the first week of the finals and after a close first quarter Adelaide blew the Bombers away by 96 points, 26.10 (166) to 10.10 (70), before a capacity crowd of just over 50,000 fans. The win put the Crows into the First Semi Final against Collingwood at the MCG. Against expectations Adelaide looked the better of the two teams and led by 24 points at half-time before the Magpies kicked six successive goals to take the lead by ten points at three quarter time. This set up an extremely tight final quarter in which momentum swung between both sides. With just over a minute left Kurt Tippett goaled from a free kick on the boundary line 55 metres out to give Adelaide a 1-point lead. From the next centre bounce Collingwood rushed the ball forward and Andy Otten took a courageous mark only for a free kick to be awarded against Ben Rutten for holding John Anthony off the contest. Anthony duly converted the set shot from 40 metres on a slight angle, handing the game to Collingwood who won 12.11 (83) to 11.12 (78). This signalled the end of an era for the Crows, who would not make the finals in the next two seasons.
2010–2011: In the wilderness
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. (July 2014)|
2010 saw a disastrous start to the season for the Adelaide Crows including a first round NAB Cup exit against Port Adelaide and a demoralising 0–6 win/loss record after the first six rounds of the home and away season, which saw Adelaide second-last on the ladder only percentage above Richmond. This overtook their start of five losses in 2000 as the worst start to a season in the clubs history, and had many predicting the club's first ever wooden spoon. This came due to a combination of poor form and injury troubles; no less than six players made their AFL debut in the first nine rounds of the season. Adelaide defeated Richmond in round 7 for their first win of the season, which began a gradual return to form; after having a 3–9 record at the mid-season break, Adelaide won four successive games, culminating in a boilover victory against reigning premiers and league leaders Geelong. This win placed them, miraculously, into finals contention with six rounds of the season remaining, and would also turn out to be the final career games of club stalwarts Andrew McLeod and Simon Goodwin. Disappointing losses to Port Adelaide and Richmond in the next two weeks dashed their finals hopes, but they continued their good form into the final four games, upsetting Brisbane at the Gabba and third placed St Kilda at home, while pushing top four sides the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood to single-digit margins (8 and 3). The Crows finished 11th with nine wins and 13 losses, including seven of their 11 home games. This marked the first time under Neil Craig that the team did not make the finals.
Kurt Tippett was Adelaide's leading goal scorer with 46 goals but was criticised for his inaccuracy and unreliability in front of goal, missing a series of simple shots in the latter half of the season in particular. Taylor Walker kicked 35 goals and 28 behinds in 18 games. Besides McLeod and Goodwin, fellow stars Brett Burton, Tyson Edwards and Trent Hentschel all announced their retirements during the season, all bar Edwards taking a lap of honour at AAMI Stadium after Adelaide's home win over St Kilda in the final round of the season.
Adelaide failed to make the second round of the 2011 NAB Cup but made a decent showing in the NAB Challenge games.
Without their retired senior players, the Crows were inconsistent and lacking confidence in 2011. After upsetting a highly touted Hawthorn side in round 1 (in a re-match of the club's inaugural match 20 years earlier), the Crows lost 10 of their next 12 matches, defeating only fading champions St Kilda and new team Gold Coast in home matches during this period. Most of Adelaide's losses during this time were by five goals or more, including a shockingly uncompetitive 96-point loss to fellow struggles Melbourne, and a humiliating 43-point loss to Collingwood in which Adelaide led by 24 points early in the last quarter only for the reigning premiers to finish the match with 11 unanswered goals. A gutsy 7-point win over Sydney in round 15 brought some hope; however, three weeks later the Crows would suffer their second worst ever loss to St Kilda (103 points), following which Neil Craig stepped down as coach, handing the reins to assistant coach and former premiership captain Mark Bickley as caretaker for the remainder of the season.
Bickley achieved immediate success with tough wins over Port Adelaide and Brisbane and a narrow loss to eventual premiers Geelong (who were in blistering form having won their past two matches by a total of 336 points). However, a second win over Gold Coast were followed by a 22-point loss to Richmond at home and a 95-point thrashing at the hands of West Coast at Subiaco Oval in the final two games, casting doubt over his candidacy for the senior coaching role from the next season onward. The poor finish consigned the Crows to 14th spot, their worst ever finish in a home and away season, with 7 wins and 15 losses.
Post-season, the Adelaide board heard applications for the senior coaching position from 2012. Besides Bickley, favoured candidates for the role were West Coast assistant coach Scott Burns and Geelong assistant Brenton Sanderson. The media widely regarded Burns as favourite for the role; however, the board elected to hire Sanderson, who had played six games for the Crows in 1992-93 and four games for Collingwood in 1994 before playing over 200 games for Geelong and winning that club's best and fairest award.
2012–2014: The Sanderson factor
Under new coach Brenton Sanderson, the Crows won the 2012 NAB Cup pre-season grand final against the West Coast Eagles by 34 points at AAMI Stadium on 17 March. Adelaide's Bernie Vince won the Michael Tuck Medal for best on ground. Adelaide started the minor round winning eight of their first ten games including defeating reigning premiers Geelong by 50 points in round seven. They continued their form in the second half of the season, winning nine of their last twelve matches to finish second with 17 wins and 5 losses, equalling the club record in 2005 and only missing out on the minor premiership to Hawthorn by percentage.
Having finished second at season's end, the Crows played the Sydney Swans in the second qualifying final at AAMI Stadium, losing by 29 points despite having more forward-50 entries. This subsequently sent them into a sudden-death semi-final against Fremantle, and the Crows would bounce back to win by ten points after trailing early in the match. They then faced premiership favourites Hawthorn in the preliminary final, and despite leading late in the match, the Crows lost by just five points, ending their season. Midfielders Patrick Dangerfield and Scott Thompson were named in the 2012 All-Australian team, while defender Daniel Talia was named the AFL Rising Star.
During the off season the Crows were fined $300,000 for breaching the salary cap and tampering with the draft with regard to 2009 re-signing of Kurt Tippett. The deal included a further payment of up to $200,000 outside the salary cap and the agreement to trade Tippett to the club of his choice. Prior to being found guilty the Crows forfeited their first two draft picks of the 2012 national draft and after being found guilty the Crows were banned from the first two rounds of the 2013 national draft. Added to this the Crows' CEO Stephen Trigg was fined $50,000 and banned from any club role for six months, while the general manager of football operations Phil Harper was suspended for two months and his predecessor John Reid was banned for 12 months, suspended for six months. Kurt Tippett was fined $50,000 and suspended for half of 2013.
The Crows suffered under the weight of expectations in an inconsistent 2013 season. Early in the season, Taylor Walker injured his ACL, requiring a full reconstruction and a 12-month rehabilitation period. This, plus the off-season loss of Kurt Tippett to the Sydney Swans left the club without a proven key forward, and they struggled to regularly kick winning scores. The Crows endured a disappointing 2013 season, winning only ten of their 22 matches and finishing 11th.
During this year there was continual development of the Crows' young squad. Brad Crouch, Rory Laird, Mitch Grigg and Kyle Hartigan made their debuts, with Crouch and Laird in particular establishing themselves as regular performers in the side. Meanwhile, Josh Jenkins, Luke Brown, Sam Kerridge, Jarryd Lyons and Lewis Johnston showed promising signs while tall forward Tom Lynch and rebounding defender Ricky Henderson had breakout years before injuries ended their seasons late. Kerridge, Crouch, Laird and Brown all received nominations for the 2013 AFL Rising Star during the season.
The Crows recruited aggressively over the off-season to compensate for draft sanctions resulting from the exit of Kurt Tippett. In trade week they secured key forward James Podsiadly from Geelong and goalsneak Eddie Betts as a free agent from Carlton. The club also traded out Bernie Vince to Melbourne, receiving draft pick 23 which they used to draft Matt Crouch, the younger brother of Brad.
The Crows sustained several injuries in the lead-up to the 2014 season. The most serious involved its captain, Nathan van Berlo, who ruptured his Achilles during training, therefore sidelining him for the entire season, with Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane acting as co-captains for the season. Prior to the commencement of the regular season, strategy and innovation coach Dean Bailey died from lung cancer at the age of 47.
Another inconsistent season, in which the club finished tenth and therefore failed to reach the finals for the second year running, saw coach Brenton Sanderson sacked on 17 September 2014.
Adelaide currently has two guernsey designs which are used in different matches throughout the season.
- Home guernsey
The home guernsey features navy blue, red and gold hoops. It is worn at all matches designated as home games for the club as well as in selected away games and generally at all finals. There have been only three finals matches where it has not been used - against West Coast at Subiaco Oval in 2005 and twice against Hawthorn at Telstra Dome and MCG in 2007 and 2012 respectively. It has had minor variations through its history since debuting with the club in 1991, including adding a white outline to the numbers in 1996, and removing of yellow cuffs and addition of blue strips down the sides (due to manufacturers template design) in 2006. In 2009 the yellow cuffs and full hoops returned. In 2010 the hoops were cut off again at the sides vertically replaced with dark blue. This jumper is worn with navy shorts at all home games, and usually with white shorts in away games.
- Clash guernsey
The clash guernsey is a predominately white based design, worn in away games where their standard home guernsey may cause a clash of colours with the home team. It features groups of crow silhouettes in the club colours of navy blue, red and gold. It was dubbed by the club as the "murder of crows" design, and was first used in 2013.
In previous seasons, the Crows have had variations of alternate guernseys.
- Pre-season guernsey (1996–98)
The club briefly used an alternate design in the pre-season competition. It was still in the club colours, but featured the club logo prominently on the front and continuing over onto the back.
- Away guernsey (1999–2009)
The away guernsey was originally intended for use in all matches designated as away games, except finals. The design had changed several times over the years since it was first used in 1999. From 2006 the red was removed from the top of the guernsey, moving it closer to the home guernsey. Its usage had waned since the introduction of the "clash" guernsey, to the point where it was only used twice in 2007, against the Western Bulldogs in round 2 and Collingwood in round 22. In a few away matches that year, the club also continued to use the traditional "home" guernsey, something which had rarely been done since the away strip was introduced. In response to this, a new away guernsey was introduced in 2008 featuring more red and yellow with a flying crow on the front – similar in design to the mid-90s pre-season jumper.
- Clash guernseys (2006–2012)
The clash guernsey was first introduced for season 2006 and was radically different from the "home" and "away" designs at the time. It was worn at all away games where the AFL deemed there to be a clash with the home team's gunersey design. Those clubs officially on the "clash list" included Carlton, Essendon, Fremantle, Melbourne and Richmond. Despite this, the AFL forced the club to wear it against other teams, such as St. Kilda and Hawthorn in 2007, Brisbane Lions (2008, 2009) and West Coast in 2008. The first clash Guernsey was red, and was worn from 2006-2009. The club first adopted a white clash Guernsey in 2010. It featured the club logo on the front with stylised curves in club colours on the front and back with navy stripes down the sides. It is worn with white shorts and the socks worn differ slightly from those with the home guernsey.
Membership base and sponsorship
In 2006, the club made history becoming the first club in VFL/AFL history to have more than 50,000 members. They broke that record in 2007, signing up 50,146 members after only round one of the season. The club failed to continue this record run and subsequently signed 48,720 members in 2008. The club has enjoyed a long standing partnership with the Toyota Camry brand since its inception, leading the club to be known in promotional materials as the "Camry Crows".
Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Lleyton Hewitt has been the club's number one ticket holder since December 2002. Federal politician Kate Ellis is the number 1 female ticket holder and Greg Champion, a musician and radio broadcaster, is the Melbourne number 1 ticket holder. Australian golfer Adam Scott is also an honorary member of the club.
– ¹ as at 12 June 2014 ^ Average home crowd excludes home final matches.
Club honour board
- Highest score in 1st quarter: 9.4 (58) – vs Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on 20 August 2011 (Round 22)
- Highest score in 3rd quarter: 11.2 (68) – vs Greater Western Sydney at Skoda Stadium on 12 May 2013 (Round 7)
- Highest score in 4th quarter: 10.4 (64) – vs Greater Western Sydney at Skoda Stadium on 15 July 2012 (Round 16)
- Longest winning streak: 10 matches – from 18 June 2005 (Round 13, vs Richmond at Telstra Dome) to 27 August 2005 (Round 22, vs West Coast at Subiaco Oval)
- Longest losing streak: 9 matches – from 8 August 1999 (Round 19, vs Brisbane Lions at Football Park) to 8 April 2000 (Round 5, vs Brisbane Lions at The Gabba)
- Longest winning streak against an opponent: 8 matches – vs Richmond from 2 June 2000 (Round 13, at Colonial Stadium) to 18 June 2005 (Round 13, at Telstra Dome), vs Kangaroos/North Melbourne from 30 July 2004 (Round 18, at Football Park) to 14 June 2009 (Round 12, at Football Park)
- Longest losing streak against an opponent: 7 matches – vs Port Adelaide from 6 August 2000 (Round 22, at Football Park) to 31 August 2003 (Round 22, at AAMI Stadium)
- Largest home attendance (Football Park/AAMI Stadium): 51,140 – vs Port Adelaide on 26 April 2003 (Round 5)
- Most goals in a match by an individual: 13 – Tony Modra vs Richmond at Football Park on 16 July 1993 (Round 16), Tony Modra vs Carlton at Football Park on 27 March 1994 (Round 1)
- Most disposals in a match by an individual: 51 – Scott Thompson vs Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on 20 August 2011 (Round 22)
|1997 AFL Grand Final||G||B||Total|
|Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground||Crowd: 99,645|
|1998 AFL Grand Final||G||B||Total|
|Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground||Crowd: 94,431|
"Team of the Decade"
While some sides named their "Team of the Century" to coincide with the AFL centenary celebrations in 1996, Adelaide only joined the league in 1991, and so later on named their "Team of the Decade", covering the period from 1991 to 2000. As well as earning selection in the team, Mark Ricciuto was named 'Player of the Decade' and Mark Bickley 'Team Man of the Decade.'
- Graham Cornes, 1991–1994
- Robert Shaw, 1995–1996
- Malcolm Blight, 1997–1999
- Gary Ayres, 2000–2004*
- Neil Craig, 2004–2011
- Mark Bickley (caretaker), 2011
- Brenton Sanderson, 2012–2014
- Phillip Walsh, 2015–present
*Gary Ayres was told that his contract would not be extended when it expired after the 2004 season, and he decided to quit immediately. Assistant Coach Neil Craig took over from round 14 as a caretaker coach and was appointed Senior Coach for 2005 and beyond.
- Chris McDermott, 1991–1994
- Tony McGuinness, 1995–1996
- Mark Bickley, 1997–2000
- Mark Ricciuto, 2001–2007
- Simon Goodwin, 2008–2010
- Nathan van Berlo, 2011–present 
Current playing list and coaching staff
|2003 Wizard Cup Grand Final||SG||G||B||Total|
|Venue: Telstra Dome, Melbourne||Crowd: 43,571|
|2012 NAB Cup Grand Final||SG||G||B||Total|
|Venue: Football Park, Adelaide||Crowd: 27,376|
The Adelaide Crows entered a reserves team in the local South Australian National Football League in 2014 under a 15-year commitment. The team is made up of AFL senior listed players and SANFL top up players.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adelaide Football Club.|
- Adelaide Football Club coaches
- Australian rules football in South Australia
- List of Adelaide Football Club players
- Sport in Australia
- Sport in South Australia
- Wikipedia listing of Adelaide players
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|Adelaide Football Club AFL Premiership Teams|