Crows no hope of luring Pav
ADELAIDE coach Neil Craig concedes the club has little hope of enticing out-of-contract Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich back to South Australia.
Inaugural Crows captain Chris McDermott has started an internet campaign to get Pavlich to Adelaide, suggesting the club should use the captaincy – which will be vacated by retiring veteran Simon Goodwin at the end of the season – as a lure.
Pavlich, 28, is yet to commit to Fremantle, but Craig said he expected the former Woodville-West Torrens junior to stay in Western Australia.
“Both ourself and Port Adelaide would love to have Matthew Pavlich back playing football here, but what people need to understand is that Matthew was recruited by Fremantle,” Craig said on Thursday. “He’s had to this point in time an outstanding career at Fremantle and he’s the captain of their club.
“I don’t know Matthew that well – I’ve only met him a few times – but the indication I get from him…and (from what) I know of his family is that he’s a very loyal person.
“It would not surprise me if Matthew finished his career at Fremantle and certainly the lure of the captaincy…if you think that’s going to get Matthew Pavlich back I don’t think you know him very well.”
Craig is faced with the more immediate problem of stopping Pavlich when the second-placed Fremantle comes to Adelaide on Saturday.
Pavlich is the in-form forward of the competition and leads the Coleman Medal race with 36 goals.
Craig’s preferred opponent for Pavlich, All-Australian defender Nathan Bock, will miss the game with a groin strain and the Crows coach said he would have to put several plans in place for the six-time All-Australian.
“Ben Rutten, Scott Stevens and Phil Davis are not going to go with Matthew Pavlich if he goes into the midfield, so we’ll have to have a contingency for that,” Craig said.
“He’s in great form and Fremantle is playing really good football, so it makes it easier for everyone in that team to play good footy and he’s going to be a very dangerous player.”
Bock is likely to be one of two changes to the Adelaide line up for the clash with Fremantle.
Tyson Edwards will be recalled to play his farewell game and Graham Johncock will return to the side after spending three weeks on the sidelines with injury/suspension.
Back-up ruckman Jon Griffin was called up for his first game of the season against St Kilda last weekend and Craig said he would persist with the ruck combination of Griffin and Ivan Maric up against Freo giant Aaron Sandilands.
“I enjoyed Jon Griffin’s game last week and particularly his work at the centre bounce because I thought he showed some real spirit in there. His around the ground work was quite good too,” Craig said.
“Ivan continues to impress me. He went forward and kicked a goal, so we’ll stay with that structure.”
Maric, 24, has been one of Adelaide’s most improved players this season, with Port Adelaide ruckman Dean Brogan going as far as to say the inspirational Crow had reached ‘elite’ status in the competition.
Craig said he agreed Maric had come along way in 2010.
“Ivan is doing some outstanding work. He has a big workload and he’s starting to be more dominant on the field mainly in defence with some of the back-play type work that he does,” he said.
“If we can add to his game the ability to go forward because he could be dangerous up there then he will become one of the elite big men in the competition.”