Ballarat export Brad Crouch a shining star for Adelaide

ADELAIDE star Brad Crouch’s stunning form since returning from injury will mean nothing if his side fails to make the finals, the Crows midfielder says.

 Adelaide’s Brad Crouch is tackled by another Ballarat export, Hawthorn’s Isaac Smith, on Friday night.
PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Adelaide’s Brad Crouch is tackled by another Ballarat export, Hawthorn’s Isaac Smith, on Friday night. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

The Ballarat export had arguably his best AFL game in Crows colours at the weekend, racking up 40 possessions in his side’s close loss to reigning premiers Hawthorn.

Despite being pleased with his own rich vein of form that has seen him take big steps toward being one of the feared midfielders in the competition, Crouch said it was crucial Adelaide rewarded its supporters by qualifying for finals.

With Adelaide not playing this weekend, Crouch will be back in Ballarat for the week and says there has been an electric buzz around Adelaide as the Crows launch a late-season revival.

The 20-year-old broke his leg earlier in the season in the derby against Port Adelaide and, ironically, missed 11 games before making his comeback against the Power.

He has averaged 31 possessions a game since coming back into the side three weeks ago and has played the best football of his blossoming career.

“I’m reasonably happy with my form over the past few weeks and we’ve got a couple of good wins on the board, which is great,” Crouch told The Courier.

“It’s great to be back, I wasn’t too worried about the broken leg because its the sort of injury that always heals well.”

Playing in front of more than 50,000 fans at Adelaide Oval on Friday night, Crouch said it was an unbelievable experience to be playing in front of such passionate supporters.

“It’s awesome, it’s a great thing for Adelaide and the city as a whole,” he said.

“It’s frustrating that we dropped a few early games (the Crows were 0-3 at the start of the season), but we’ve got very good support at the moment.”

The 10th placed Crows have a week off before facing an acid test against Collingwood at the MCG on Sunday week, with the winner to most likely claim a spot in the top eight.

“Any game against Collingwood is always massive and we know exactly how big it is going to be,” Crouch said.

In addition to sneaking into the finals, Crouch is continuing to wait for the day both he and younger brother, Matt, play their first game together.

The pair were close to playing together last Friday night, with Matt touted as a replacement had Adelaide star Scott Thompson not deemed fit enough to play due to a hamstring injury.

The younger brother was again named among the best in the reserves on Saturday.

“’Matt’s playing really well in the reserves but we’ve got a really strong midfield which is hard to break into as a 19-year-old but he’s doing all the right things,” Crouch  said.

“I’m sure it will make the parents proud when it does happen.”

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au


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