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Uncapped Crows youngsters to get their chance

Football

Adelaide coach Don Pyke says a spate of injuries to key midfielders has opened the door for a batch of largely untested talent when the Crows' preseason campaign kicks off tomorrow night.

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The Crows open their JLT Community Series campaign against Richmond in Melbourne with premier onballers Rory Sloane, Scott Thompson and Brad Crouch sidelined by injury.

While Pyke expects the trio to be available for the premiership season opener, he says a group of younger players will be given the chance to press their midfield claims against the Tigers.

Among the fresh faces will be Curtly Hampton, draftee Myles Poholke and Harrison Wigg, all yet to play an AFL game for the Crows.

“That has been a stated aim of ours, to expose more guys to the midfield and we’ll see that tomorrow night,” Pyke told reporters this morning.

“Our aim out of the game tomorrow night is clearly we want to build some good habits with our group.

“So we have got to be mindful of not just spinning wheels and getting guys in spots for five minutes here, 10 minutes there.

“We want to give guys who have done the work opportunities to play their primary role but we want to also build on their secondary roles.”

Pyke expected Sloane (fractured eye socket), Thompson (shoulder) Crouch (hamstring) and defender Jake Lever (hamstring) to be in the selection frame for round one of the premiership season.

“The challenge is to get guys back ready to play versus being available, there’s a big difference,” he said.

“In an ideal world we would have those guys available so we could build them through the pre-season.

“But we have now got opportunities for other guys to stake their claim.

“And I know all those guys individually are excited because they recognise that there are spots there and they have done the work – over to them, really, to push themselves forward.”

Port Adelaide face St Kilda at Etihad Stadium tonight, with the Crows taking on Richmond at the same venue tomorrow.

-AAP

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