MUCH-VAUNTED Adelaide recruit Brad Crouch has missed selection for what would have been his AFL debut in the season opener against Essendon at AAMI Stadium tonight.
Crouch, recruited at the end of 2011 as a 17-year-old via the mini-draft and forced to wait until this year before he could play AFL, had been regarded by many as a round-one certainty.
Instead, the midfielder has been named as an emergency for the match.
The former North Ballarat Rebel had excelled in the pre-season, including promising performances in all Adelaide NAB Cup and practice matches.
Versatile Crows tall Josh Jenkins has been named at centre-half-forward, getting first opportunity to replace the departed Kurt Tippett.
Essendon will give mature-aged recruit Nick Kommer an AFL debut, while David Zaharakis and Michael Hurley have been selected despite pre-season injury problems.
Former St Kilda star Brendon Goddard has also been named to play his first match for the Bombers.
Both West Coast and Fremantle have dipped into their stocks of big men to cover injury losses for their season opener tomorrow night.
The Eagles have promoted Scott Lycett to step in for the injured Nic Naitanui, while Fremantle will play Jon Griffin and experienced Kepler Bradley after pre-season injuries to Aaron Sandilands and Zac Clarke.
The two matches will be all that is played this weekend, with the remainder of round one to be completed next week, starting Thursday between regular opening round combatants Richmond and Carlton.