Winning cup won't regain ground: Crows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Winning cup won't regain ground: Crows

Steve Larkin 09/02/2011 06:01:33 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide coach Neil Craig says winning the AFL preseason cup won't regain lost ground for his club.

Craig said the scoreboard was almost irrelevant in the preseason competition which opens on Friday night with the Crows involved in games against Melbourne and Port Adelaide.

Craig has drastically altered Adelaide's preseason regime after missing the finals for the first time in his tenure, traced back to a massive injury list last preseason.

"We have lost some ground as a club," Craig told reporters on Wednesday.

But comparing this preseason with last year's was "chalk and cheese", with the Crows having few current injury concerns, he said.

Only midfielders Bernie Vince (knee) and David Mackay (knee) are missing from their best line-up, with both expected to be fit for the start of the premiership season.

Recruits Richard Tambling (ex-Richmond) and ruckman Sam Jacobs (ex-Carlton) have been named for the cup openers, along with knee injury victims Andy Otten and Brad Moran, who both missed the entire 2010 season.

Craig said high-profile signing Tambling was not yet in Adelaide's best 22, while adding winning the preseason tournament was "not high on the agenda".

"In terms of it being another silverware, no, it would be a bonus," he said.

"I think most clubs think like that, I don't know too many clubs that would be setting themselves totally to win the NAB Cup.

"Your ultimate goal is the big heavy one (the premiership cup).

"I would never call it (the NAB Cup) a substitute, I would call it a bonus."

Craig's Crows are seen to be disadvantaged in round one of the preseason cup, playing games one and three on the triple billing - meaning a 90-minute break between games.

But Craig said he would demand a competitive spirit from his players.

"Our performances in the last couple of years have been substandard early in the NAB Cup so we don't want to reproduce that," Craig said.

"We don't want to waste time (but) I'm not necessarily interested in the scoreboard.

"What I'm interested in is to make sure that each round we can make good decisions about where we are going, and you can only get that if guys play with a fierce competitive attitude which underpins your starting point."

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