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D-Day looms as Crows brace for Crouch exit

Brad Crouch finished the season strongly but not strong enough to crack the top 10 in Adelaide’s best-and-fairest. Picture: Sarah Reed.

Crouch only played 12 of 17 games this season but so did Rory Sloane and Kyle Hartigan, while Shane McAdam played 13 and they finished 10th, eighth and seventh behind new Malcolm Blight Medallist Reilly O’Brien.

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Adelaide is planning to meet with Crouch’s manager Garry Winter this week to decide on whether it will match any interest from rival clubs, believed to include Geelong where recruiter Stephen Wells is understood to be a big fan of the midfielder.

As a restricted free agent, Crouch can walk to a rival club only if Adelaide declines to match the offer.

“We had an offer on the table with Brad before the season went into suspension, which I won’t go into the particulars of, but it wasn’t an agreement he was prepared to accept at that point in time, a combination of length and financial terms but we had a gap in what we were prepared to offer and what Brad was prepared to accept,” Crows football manager Adam Kelly told ABC Grandstand on the weekend.

“Then negotiations stalled when the AFL advised all clubs during that training suspension period, and since the season recommenced and given the time of year, the decision was made to understand what the market place was (doing) so we’ll wait to see exactly what they’ve got on the table and make a decision around that.

“To be honest it’s a unique situation with restricted free agency, those discussions will be held once we understand what other clubs are prepared to offer, the very nature of it is last right of refusal for the club so we’ll be in a far better position to determine that once we know how they’ve gone with those discussions.”

The Lowdown – Finals Time

Adelaide’s playing group had a final team meeting on Friday before dispersing on their end-of-season break and Brodie Smith said Crouch’s future wasn’t being discussed among the players.

“The last thing you want to do when we are catching up is to talk footy and contracts, we all know where Brad is at and that we want him to stay, it’s just something himself, his manager and the footy club are going to have to work through,” Smith said.

“We don’t know list sizes, when we’re coming back to training or what contracts look like so a lot of guys are probably going to be left in limbo until trade period as well so no doubt it’s a frustrating one for all players not just Brad who haven’t got contracts at the moment.”

Defender Daniel Talia had an arthroscope on his knee this week and with one year left on his contract has not given any indication he wants to leave the Crows next season.

With Scott Burns and Nathan van Berlo both confirmed to join Matthew Nicks’ new-look coaching panel next year, Neil Balme continues to be linked to the club from Richmond and neither Kelly or Crows board member Rod Jameson did anything to hose down that speculation.

“If you look at Neil’s experience, there aren’t many people involved in the game that have had more extensive experience than Neil Balme,” Kelly said.

“That’s why he’s so highly regarded in the industry, the man himself he has a lot to offer football but we won’t go into any particulars.”

Jameson said Adelaide wanted to put experience around its young list.

“So to be able to bring in a person, if that was to be of that quality, that has a broad knowledge of the industry itself, on how to do things better … look yet to be defined what that role might be if it all falls that way but look I’m sure everyone at Adelaide would welcome someone of that quality,” he said.

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Daniel Mill

Daniel is our resident geek with a Degree in Computer Science, he loves to write about the Entertainment. It’s always interesting to watch what he posts.He also writes for another website on the Internet. e-mail: danielmill@eaglesvine.com

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