Lifting Crows a major job, says Craig - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lifting Crows a major job, says Craig

By Steve Larkin 29/08/2010 06:58:39 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide coach Neil Craig says lifting his Crows into next year's AFL finals will be a major exercise.

But he hopes he sold a bit of hope from the ruins of Adelaide's "underperformance" in 2010.

"We're still going to be a very young side next year," Craig said after Adelaide's 28-point win over St Kilda on Saturday.

"But hopefully we've given our supporters some hope."

Craig's Crows will miss the finals for the first time since 2004, and lose a swag of experience headed by captain Simon Goodwin and Andrew McLeod.

"Our performance against St Kilda demonstrates that it is possible for us to play that sort of football, but consistency will be our biggest challenge," he said.

"The last 10 weeks have showed that there's a level of effort there that we would expect.

"But the challenge to get back into the finals, which is going to be a major exercise in itself, means we need to improve the way we play the game - not the effort, but the way we play the game."

Craig said several Crows would be sent for surgery. His priority now is to build a healthy playing list after a season cruelled by injury.

Ruckman Ivan Maric, winger Brodie Martin and young forward Ricky Henderson will have minor hip surgery and half-back Chris Schmidt knee surgery.

"We've got guys going in for operations as early as next week and some of those guys played," said Craig, who had 16 players unavailable through injury for the Saints game.

"We need to get our squad healthy again over the break so that we don't enter the season with 12 or 13 players on your list injured.

"To try and play a season like that is just too difficult."

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