Crows ask All-Stars to go easy on McLeod - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows ask All-Stars to go easy on McLeod

By Daniel Brettig 04/02/2009 06:21:05 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide expect the Indigenous All-Stars to use key Crow Andrew McLeod only sparingly when he captains the representative side in the match at Darwin on Saturday.

McLeod is regathering his fitness and touch in the AFL pre-season after the latest in a long line of knee operations, but is keen to captain the All-Stars squad.

The Crows have longer term priorities in mind, and assistant coach Ben Hart said on Tuesday that opposing coach Chris Johnson would be given advice by Adelaide about how they wanted their players, particularly McLeod, to be used.

"You can ask (for rest), I'm sure they're pretty sensible, Chris is pretty sensible, so perhaps a bit for each quarter," Hart said.

"You can put your preference in front of him and what he does with it in the end is his call, but the teams are working together."

Adelaide's players, too, will be mindful of not wrenching McLeod's battered knees.

"Of course you don't want guys going out there in a kamikaze state of mind, but if the ball's there you expect them to win it," said Hart.

"You'd like to think they'll take it a little bit easy (on McLeod) but it'll be played on its merits every ball and no different to him training out here.

"I think Andrew's ready. The clearance has been given from the medical staff and from himself - he's played 300 games and knows his body pretty well.

"He can't do any more damage to it is the report from the medicos, so his match fitness won't be at a super level but he's done a lot of conditioning work on the sidelines."

Adelaide will fly their full squad north on Thursday, with 30 players to be rotated through the match at Marrara Stadium on Saturday night.

One All-Stars player keen to impress against his AFL club will be Graham Johncock, who is working to restore the faith of coaches and teammates after a 2008 that was clearly his least productive year both on and off the field.

Hart said Johncock's "bubbliness" had returned over summer.

"Graham's been fantastic since he's come back on the track in pre-season and training really well," he said.

"He's got that spring in his step so he'll be keen to impress, whoever he's playing for."

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