Brad Crouch trains at West Lakes this season. Picture SARAH REED
Brad Crouch trains at West Lakes this season. Picture SARAH REED

Why Adelaide must double down on keeping Crouch

Adelaide has a new coach in Matthew Nicks but is confronting the same challenge in its quest to retain club champion Brad Crouch.

Nicks made locking down Crouch one of the first priorities of his initial press conference at West Lakes last week. But there is a way to go before club and player reach common ground.

"We are looking forward to meeting with the club at the right time and once things settle down for them," Crouch's manager Garry Winter told The Advertiser.

Crouch, 25, will front in Nicks' first season coaching Adelaide but becomes a restricted free agent from next year where rivals including Gold Coast and Geelong can pounce for the former Ballarat Rebel.

Stream over 50 sports live and on demand with KAYO SPORTS. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

 

Adelaide will hope midfielder Brad Crouch (right) doesn’t follow ruckman Sam Jacobs (left) out the door. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.
Adelaide will hope midfielder Brad Crouch (right) doesn’t follow ruckman Sam Jacobs (left) out the door. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.

Having tested his market value, Crouch knows the figures and tenure he can command interstate and they will exceed what Adelaide has previously been prepared to offer.

Talks between Crouch's management and Crows list manager Justin Reid will intensify. Once players return from holidays, Nicks finalises his coaching panel and Adelaide implements recommendations from Jason Dunstall's independent review, all parties will know where they stand.

The Crows won't want another year of conjecture over Crouch's future.

Gold Coast and Victorian-based clubs floated six to seven year deals of around $900,000 annually to prise Crouch from the Crows' nest. However, Reid has been stung by the five-year deals that will see Adelaide pay a heft percentage of Josh Jenkins wage at Geelong in 2020. Carlton will also benefit from the Crows contributing to Eddie Betts' wage next winter.

Crouch wants a five-year deal to stay with Adelaide but the hierarchy will note his two seasons missed through the injury in 2015 and 2018.

Brad Crouch after winning the club champion award. Picture Mark Brake
Brad Crouch after winning the club champion award. Picture Mark Brake

"Looking back to this time last year, if someone had said to me that I was going to play every game and win the best and fairest, I wouldn't have believed them," Crouch said on winning the 2019 Malcolm Blight medal.

"I was not in a great space with my body, but was lucky enough to get a good year under the belt."

Another stellar season from 83-game on-baller Crouch will enhance his status in an ageing Crows midfield.

 

MORE NEWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Younger brother Matt is entering his prime at 24 but Rory Sloane will be 30 and Bryce Gibbs 31 by the start of next season. Cam-Ellis Yolmen and Hugh Greenwood have joined Brisbane and Gold Coast. Having invested in Chayce Jones and Ned McHenry, Adelaide will enter next months national AFL draft with six picks inside the top 50 but can't afford to lose hardened, premium engine room talent like Crouch next year.

Crouch can move from next season but Gold Coast are also vulnerable with spearhead Jack Lukosius coming off contract in an intriguing scenario for the clubs.

New Adelaide Crows coach Matthew Nicks. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images
New Adelaide Crows coach Matthew Nicks. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images
News Corp Australia


Mt Nardi man completely oblivious to bushfire burning nearby

premium_icon Mt Nardi man completely oblivious to bushfire burning nearby

Rangers came across the man while door knocking homes

Retired racehorses get second chance at gold

premium_icon Retired racehorses get second chance at gold

See the final Off the Track races at the Bangalow Agricultural Show