Crows scramble for Pavlich minder - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows scramble for Pavlich minder

By Daniel Brettig 07/04/2009 05:08:20 PM Comments (0)

Scott Stevens, Ben Rutten, Andy Otten and James Sellar will all come into calculations for the job of minding Fremantle spearhead Matthew Pavlich after the suspension of Adelaide's All-Australian AFL defender Nathan Bock.

Pavlich has spent a considerable amount of time upfield in the first two rounds but there seems little doubt he will be sat closer to goal on Sunday as under-pressure Dockers coach Mark Harvey tries to energise his faltering team.

"Nathan's an All-Australian and our best and fairest from last year, so he's a tough man to replace," Crows captain Simon Goodwin said on Tuesday.

"Nathan certainly would've been the ideal match-up for Pavlich.

"But we could have a Scott Stevens coming back into the side or we could throw a younger player in there.

"Andy Otten or Ben Rutten could move up the field and play on Pav.

"We've got a range of options and I'm sure the match committee are vigorously working that out at the moment."

Stevens would be the ideal replacement as a player of similar skill, vision and creativity if not body size, but he must still prove his fitness after a hamstring complaint and managed only light duties on the track on Tuesday.

Rutten has the strength to go with Pavlich but is more comfortable on the last line of defence, while Otten and Sellar are youngsters with much to be modest about.

In addition to Bock, Trent Hentschel (knee) and Chris Knights (eye socket) will also be missing against the Dockers, meaning likely recalls for two of Nick Gill, Robert Shirley and Brad Symes.

Gill has impressed in the SANFL so far this year, showing the benefits of a full pre-season, according to Goodwin.

"I think we've all seen what Nick can offer to the team at certain stages, so there's no doubt he can come in and play a really important role," he said.

"Nick, for the first time in his career, has had a big pre-season and got his body as best he can.

"He's now giving himself every chance to perform really well. If he gets that opportunity, we look forward to seeing that."

Adelaide's preparations for the Dockers were thrown out by a day due to the Bock affair, as Monday training was delayed until Tuesday to allow the players to meet and discuss the matter at length.

"We've dealt with it. Yesterday was a down day for us as a footy club, we spent a lot of time around it, but as of 10 this morning we're purely focused on our job at hand playing Fremantle this weekend," said Goodwin.

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