Crows ace McLeod named in squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows ace McLeod named in squad

By Daniel Brettig 17/07/2008 07:39:26 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide ace Andrew McLeod looms as the man to fill the "class gap" left in the Crows forward line by the loss of Brett Burton and Jason Porplyzia for Sunday's AFL battle with Port Adelaide.

McLeod has made a swift recovery from clean-out surgery to his battered right knee, and trained strongly on Thursday to suggest he will be capable of playing a key role against the Power.

He was named as part of Adelaide's preliminary 25-man squad for Sunday, alongside Luke Jericho, David Mackay, Ken McGregor, Brad Moran and Andy Otten.

Prior to his break McLeod had played in a variety of defensive and midfield roles, but some of his more sparkling moments in 2008 took place when he was stationed up forward early in the year.

Young crumber Richard Douglas said McLeod would be most welcome in a forward line that has ceased to function for long periods lately.

"Bunji (McLeod) looked really good out there and we look forward to getting him back this week," Douglas said.

"He's a really important player for us and he loves the big stage, so he'll be right.

"(McLeod forward) is a possibility, obviously, with Bird (Burton) and Porps (Porplyzia) out there are opportunities for some players to step up and play forward this week.

"Wherever Andrew plays he generally plays well and we love the drive he gives us from the back line.

"That's important to us as well, so he may play a number of roles on Sunday."

Fellow backline sweeper Graham Johncock has also had his moments as a forward over the years, and showed considerable goal-kicking prowess at training on Thursday afternoon.

Either player would be useful to help Adelaide find the correct formula, alongside inclusions Jericho, McGregor and Moran, who will compete for a role as marking targets in concert with ruckmen Kurt Tippett and Ivan Maric.

Douglas said he too needed to lift his game, following a series of matches where he has shown only glimpses of his ability.

Last week he snapped two fine goals against Collingwood after the sting had gone from the game.

"Everyone has got to stand up and I'm no exception to that, so I'll be looking forward to having a bigger impact on the game," he said.

"I'll probably spend a bit more time up forward, so it would be nice to kick a few goals.

"No-one likes losing, especially four in a row, so we're desperate to win this week and keep our finals chances alive."

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