Crows birdman Burton to fly again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows birdman Burton to fly again

By Daniel Brettig 03/07/2009 07:53:07 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide's livewire forward Brett Burton will make his much-anticipated return from a knee reconstruction in the SANFL on Sunday, and he does not intend to bide his time in the local league for long.

Crows coach Neil Craig, who has demoted youngster Taylor Walker after several quiet weeks, said 31-year-old Burton was planning to play a full game for Woodville West Torrens and had gone so far as to quiz Craig about a return to the AFL side this week.

"Brett's not thinking (of playing) a half, as you would expect because he doesn't do anything in halves," Craig said on Friday.

"He's in the (Eagles) league side, which is great credit to (coach) Ron Fuller to do that for us.

"He's ready to play and if it means a full game of footy, let's go for it.

"He can't do any more than what he's done in terms of training and preparation.

"He even floated past me a couple of weeks ago asking to come straight back into the AFL team, which I half expected - I like his attitude."

The fortunes of Burton and Walker are likely to be linked for the remainder of the year, as both can play the mid-sized forward's role that has fit so well into a revamped Crows attacking structure in 2009.

Walker's recent downturn has afforded Craig the chance to try out young talls Shaun McKernan and James Sellar against the Tigers, and both will be auditioning for one spot alongside Ivan Maric and Kurt Tippett.

The slightly experimental nature of Adelaide's line-up for Saturday suggests an element of forward planning, though Craig dismissed at length the possibility his players could be complacent about playing a side whose season was effectively over several weeks ago.

"I don't detect it (complacency), the key thing there is we don't have anything to be complacent about," said Craig.

"Now if we'd won like Geelong have won, or 13 games without a miss like St Kilda and Geelong, I think you can put your hand up and say you're pretty good in the day's competition.

"Certainly we have nothing to be complacent about.

"We've focused on Richmond this week - they have a great capacity to score quickly.

"They've had a lot of quarters where they've kicked seven-eight goals in a quarter, and often when you do that, as we found out against the Western Bulldogs, that can be good enough to win.

"They're a very offensive team, so some of our defensive things we were poor at last week against Sydney, we can't afford to be poor at those this week.

"We understand it's still going to be a task for us to make the eight if you look at our draw and the current form of sides, no guarantee we'll make the eight.

"We've got eight (wins) and I think maybe 13 you're going to have to win to get in."

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