top up players for the crows !!

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top up players for the crows !!

Post by Mickyj on Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:12 pm

Six clubs have agreed to supply top-up players for the Adelaide Football Club’s team in the SANFL next year.

North Adelaide, Glenelg, Woodville-West Torrens, Sturt, West Adelaide and South Adelaide are all in favour of providing promising players an opportunity to further themselves at league level with the Crows in 2014.

Despite Norwood and Central District choosing not to be involved next season, Crows football operations manager Phil Harper is encouraged the majority will have some input.

‘’We’re certainly pleased we can work with the SANFL clubs,’’ Harper said.

‘’That’s what the deal was in the first place, to work with the clubs and turn it into a positive where someone who probably wouldn’t have got an opportunity at another time, finds themself with an opportunity to prove themself at league level.

‘’It’s about trying to get a win-win for all parties.’’

Woodville-West Torrens coach Michael Godden said his club would benefit from exposing some of his squad to a higher standard.

‘’There are two reasons for ‘opting in’,’’ Godden said.

‘’First, we believe as a club in this competition it is important that we help to make this changing environment work for the betterment of the SANFL.

‘’Secondly, we feel we can use it to our advantage. If there is a player or players that we feel have the potential to play at league level, but through circumstances have been unable to get into our league side, there is an opportunity to see them at the same level.

‘’The benefit of this is the player gets exposed to league football and if he performs well, we then are in a position to bring him back and play in our league team with some experience under his belt.’’

Glenelg football manager Ken Applegarth said the Tigers were looking at using the Crows’ top-up system to attract players from the club’s south-east country zone to the city.

‘’We see it as an opportunity to use it as another pathway for our lads in the south-east,’’ Applegarth said.

‘’It might be a good opportunity for someone to experience another level. Obviously there is always the thought of them playing at the Bay but it might provide another opportunity to encourage them to come to Adelaide.’’

Central District chief executive Kris Grant said his club was content to keep its younger players developing at Elizabeth.

‘’We’re a club which plays its youngsters at league level if they are good enough,’’ Grant said.

‘’We like to develop them within our culture, the same as the Crows want to develop their people and that is why they (Crows) have gone down the path they have.

‘’In doing that (keeping players at Central), we don’t think that inhibits them from being drafted (by an AFL club) at all.’’

Norwood football operations manager Mark Ross said while the Redlegs won’t be involved in 2014, they wouldn’t rule it out in the future.

‘’We are obviously losing a lot of players,’’ Ross said.

‘’We know we are going to have a minimum of four drafted (in this year’s AFL Draft), we’ve had a number of retirees and we are going to lose a number of players to both the Power and Crows who were involved in the Grand Final.

‘’We’ve got a recruiting restriction this year as well so with that in mind, we have to go with the list we’ve got. The gamestyle Norwood plays is a lot different to any other club in South Australia and we need all players on deck to be playing that style.’’

The Crows are currently in the process of finalising their list of top-up players, which includes a maximum of two from each SANFL club.

‘’We hope to have a squad of around 20 guys who we can pick from,’’ Harper said.

‘’Six to ten of those will come from the SANFL, another six to ten will come from the Amateur League and another half a dozen or so from country areas throughout South Australia.

‘’The plan is for that group to come together for the first time on Wednesday November 20 and train once a week right through to Christmas and then continue that through next year.

‘’They will still do the vast majority of training at their local club but they will come together once a week to train with us.’’

Harper admitted Central premiership star Ian Callinan was the frontrunner to be the team’s inaugural captain after being named as a playing assistant coach last week.

‘’We haven’t made a final decision on that but he would be a chance,’’ Harper said of Callinan, who was delisted by the Crows last month after playing 32 AFL matches.

‘’For a start, given he is the only one assured of playing all of the time as the top-ups may not and even the other players on our list may not as they could be upgraded to play in the AFL team, he is as good a chance as anyone for that role.

‘’For young people trying to prove themselves, you couldn’t get a better role model than Ian Callinan.’’
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