Crows players give Johncock go-ahead - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows players give Johncock go-ahead

By Daniel Brettig 05/08/2008 02:09:30 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide's players are satisfied with the off-field rehabilitation of Graham Johncock, leaving coach Neil Craig to decide if he is in the best 22 to face Richmond this week.

Crows captain Simon Goodwin declared that Johncock could again be considered for selection, after meeting the guidelines set out by the club's leadership group a fortnight ago when he was dropped.

Always something of a rough diamond, Johncock's form dropped away drastically in the few weeks leading up to his demotion, a decline the players linked to personal issues and faulty preparation.

Having shown improvement over the past two weeks, Johncock is likely to be needed as a replacement for wounded Crow Jason Porplyzia, who has been sidelined for a month due to brain bruising.

"We met yesterday and spoke about Graham, he's going to be available for selection, he's done a lot of things right over the last couple of weeks," Goodwin said.

"His attitude to training, his fitness and the attitude he's gone back to Port Adelaide with has been sensational.

"So full credit to Graham and he's committed to a long-term plan now, so we're looking forward to the benefits of seeing Graham play some great footy for us.

"Graham had some guidelines of what we wanted to see and he's delivered that over the last couple of weeks.

"His preparation's improved, we've seen that, we know he can do it and it's just a matter of doing it on a longer basis."

Goodwin was at pains to make it clear that Johncock was far from guaranteed a place in the team this week, but it is difficult to imagine any other inclusions for the Crows apart from he and Brent Reilly for Porplyzia and Chris Knights (hamstring).

Adelaide's win over Carlton on the weekend was in large part inspired by the example of Porplyzia, who fought a dreadfully loose shoulder to kick five goals against Sydney two weeks ago.

So heartening has his effort been that the Crows are determined to carry that spirit with them and give Porplyzia the end of season carrot of some finals to get fit for.

"The stuff Jason showed over the last couple of weeks is definitely about our culture," Goodwin said.

"To play with injury and kick five goals in a really important game for us as a footy club shows the real spirit that a guy like Jason's got and also the spirit he brings to the footy club, so he's left a big mark on us this year and we'll continue to play with that spirit."

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