Don't fear the Magpies, says Crows coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Don't fear the Magpies, says Crows coach

By Steve Larkin 20/08/2010 01:50:39 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide coach Neil Craig has implored his unfancied youngsters not to fear AFL ladder leader Collingwood in their Saturday night clash.

The Crows will take one of their most inexperienced sides for years into the MCG clash, with several stalwarts missing.

Captain Simon Goodwin, Andrew McLeod, Brett Burton, Gold Coast defector Nathan Bock, reigning club champion Bernie Vince and forward Chris Knights are among the notable absentees for the Crows.

Collingwood's can secure top spot entering the finals with victory over the Crows - they can only lose pole position with defeats in the final two minor round matches coupled with consecutive Geelong wins.

The encounter looms a mismatch, but Crows coach Craig dismissed a lambs to the slaughter theme.

"It's what we have got, we have got no choice," he said of his inexperienced brigade.

"MCG, 60,000 (spectators) ... on a Saturday night against Collingwood that could play in the grand final - they (his players) need to maximise that as a game, not fear it, to be excited about it - which they are."

Adelaide's lowly season ends with a home fixture against St Kilda, with Craig welcoming the looming challenges.

"Now we play two teams that could end up in the grand final," Craig said.

"It's important for us to play hard competitive footy against them, so we can add that information to all those other games.

"...If you went through the side, I could build a case for nearly every player that this week and next week are real important for us."

Craig conceded his midfield options were limited against the Magpies by injuries to Vince and Knights.

"It takes away our flexibility, absolutely, but I can't help that," he said.

Adelaide's dearth of experience is evidenced in their recall of 30-game forward Taylor Walker, nine-gamer Matthew Jaensch and one-gamer Will Young.

In contrast, Collingwood have summoned seasoned trio Luke Ball, Tyson Goldsack and John Anthony as replacements for Paul Medhurst, Tarkyn Lockyer and Simon Prestigiacomo, who will miss the game with a corked thigh.

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