Crows match committee looks for Aspirin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows match committee looks for Aspirin

By Daniel Brettig 07/09/2009 06:11:21 PM Comments (0)

Twenty-five players. Twenty-two spots. One big selection headache.

Adelaide's preparations for Saturday night's AFL semi-final against Collingwood will be punctuated by the efforts of Nathan Bock, Nathan van Berlo and Robert Shirley to somehow squeeze into a side that won their first final by 96 points.

Bock is one of the first picked in the side when fit and he will continue to build his return from a heel fracture in training this week having flirted with selection against Essendon.

Van Berlo's back problem has all but cleared, freeing the way for him to resume his defensive midfielder's commission against the Magpies, and Shirley is scheduled to train with the main group having recovered from a hamstring problem.

Young Crows midfielder Patrick Dangerfield said it was very healthy for the club to be dealing with a strong list to choose from at the important end of the year.

"I'm sure there is (some tension related to selection), it's a great sign for the football club, it just shows the depth we've got and the pressure for selection," Dangerfield said on Monday.

"I think that can only help a team, it won't hurt us, that's for sure."

Beyond fringe midfielder Richard Douglas it is difficult to know who would go out of the team for Bock, van Berlo and Shirley.

Forward Brett Burton, midfielder Brad Symes and utility Brent Reilly are all around the edge of the 22 but have also made valuable contributions in recent weeks.

Dangerfield, however, said that Shirley and van Berlo had to be seriously considered for their fierce attack on the ball and on the man - useful qualities against a desperate Magpies outfit.

"Shirls' attack on the footy has been sensational all year and that's something that's really important for us," he said.

"Once he gets given a job he does that for the duration of the match.

"Nathan van Berlo can do a similar job and he's another player we'd love to come back into the side."

Adelaide are being heavily favoured by punters ahead of the clash, and they are now the $1.75 favourite to beat the Magpies in addition to being third favourites for the premiership.

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