Ins: James Podsiadly from Geelong, Eddie Betts from Carlton.
Outs: Bernie Vince to Melbourne, Graham Johncock (retired).
2013 Record – 11th on ladder – 40 points – 10 wins, 12 losses.
2013 Stat Rankings:
Positive: 3rd in kicks, 5th in marks.
Negative: 16th in tackles.
The Crows possess a supremely talented midfield unit with Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Thompson and Rory Sloane backed up by the underrated Richard Douglas. Their forward line has been bolstered by the signings of experienced pair, James Podsiadly and Eddie Betts to complement the soon to return superstar, Taylor Walker (minus one mullet), Tom Lynch and the highly promising Lewis Johnston.
It should be remembered that the Crows, although only a disappointing 11th in 2013, finished 2nd on the ladder, equal on 68 points with 1st place Hawthorn in 2012 and I’m expecting big things from the Crows this season. They had a 12-2 home record in 2012 and they must return to that sort of home form in 2014.
Their recent record against the very top teams is not as good as it should be, winning just 3 of 13 against top 4 teams over the past 3 seasons, despite themselves finishing in the 4 in 2012.
Their early draw is not kind to the Crows with games against the Cats away at Simonds stadium, the local derby versus Port and then a home fixture against the Swans to begin their season.
If, however, they can win even one of those opening 3 games they should be in a strong position by the time they face the Pies and Blues in rounds 9 and 10 following a handily placed bye after games against St Kilda, GWS, Western Bulldogs and Melbourne.
Adelaide could be the big improvers in 2014 and are a temptingly priced $6.75 with Sportsbet or IASbet to finish in the top 4 and $10 with the same firms to be the top non – Victorian team. Ladbrokes have priced up a handicap market and $14 about the Crows with an 18 point start is of definite interest.