Preparation has Crows confident - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Preparation has Crows confident

Guy Hand 16/03/2011 06:36:07 PM Comments (0)

Not since the days of the Crow-bots in 2005 and 2006 have Adelaide been as programmed pre-season for AFL success.

Crows defender Graham Johncock says the clock has been turned back to the finely-tuned, fluently-drilled, freakishly-fit Crows who turned the competition on its head midway through last decade.

Those teams won 10 matches in a row in 2005 en route to the preliminary final, then 14 of their first 16 in 2006.

But if there is an AFL radar, the current Crows are winging their way well below it despite putting an exclamation mark on their round one preparation with a 68-point smashing of Richmond last week.

Coach Neil Craig says their pre-season matchplay has been the best in his time at the club and Johncock added to the bullishness with his appraisal of the Crows' training track efforts.

"We're definitely in better shape than I've seen us in previous years - it's probably the best I've seen us over the past four or five years injury-wise in the pre-season," Johncock said.

At 28, Johncock was made a Crows life member this week and is convinced his fitness levels are the best in his 10 years at the club.

Suspended twice in the past three seasons for discipline breaches, Johncock is also mindful of Adelaide's patience and perseverance and is promising payback.

"There were times in my career where I've had some issues - off-field stuff. But the club's always been very helpful, helping me through those difficult times," Johncock said.

"Any other club would have got rid of me straight away.

"So I'm very grateful for that so the only way I can repay them is do what I do best and that's on the field."

In the last year of his contract, Johncock wants to remain a one-club player and shrugged off suggestions he could be an expansion team target like Gold Coast's ex-Crow Nathan Bock - this time for GWS.

"I wouldn't want to go anywhere else ... I'd like to see out my playing career here. It would be nice."

Midfielder Brodie Martin, who trained strongly on Wednesday to prove he is over a recent knee injury, is expected to play for his SANFL club Sturt this weekend.

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