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Thommo not done yet: Pyke


Adelaide stalwart Scott Thompson’s AFL career isn’t finished despite being dumped from the side, Crows coach Don Pyke said.

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Thompson, a dual club champion and All Australian midfielder, was dropped after making minimal impact last weekend in his first AFL game this season.

But Pyke said the 34-year-old still has a role to play at AFL level.

“He would be the first to admit last week he didn’t have the game he would have liked,” Pyke told reporters at Adelaide Airport this morning.

“We know the quality of the guy, the experience. I expect he will still have a role to play for the rest of the year.”

Pyke, who favoured first-year midfielder Hugh Greenwood for Saturday night’s fixture against Melbourne in Darwin, was adamant Thompson’s cards hadn’t been marked.

“He’s a professional footballer, he understands the nature of the game which is performance based,” Pyke said.

“And he was as disappointed as anyone with how he played last week.

“But he will go back and I expect he will perform really well at SANFL level and put his name up for selection again really soon.”

Pyke also insists there’s no danger about forward Tom Lynch’s return to AFL action – just over a fortnight since being in intensive care with a viral illness.

Lynch has been summoned to Adelaide’s side for tomorrow night’s clash against Melbourne after missing the past two game because of viral meningitis.

Club medicos have cleared Lynch to play in Darwin. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

Pyke says Lynch has been cleared by medicos to return despite playing the Demons in Darwin’s heat and high humidity.

“It has just been a question of monitoring how he’s feeling and his energy levels, and he has been really positive in that space so he’s ready to go,” he said.

“His energy levels are back to normal and Tommy is that sort of guy anyway so he’s bouncing around the place.”

Lynch is one of two changes to Adelaide’s side, with wingman Wayne Milera ruled out after suffering a calf injury at midweek training.

The ladder-leading Crows meet a fifth-placed Melbourne outfit which made one change, omitting Billy Stretch in favour of Jay Kennedy-Harris.

Adelaide enter the fixture seeking to avenge a round eight home loss to the Demons, when Bernie Vince put the clamps on star Crow Rory Sloane.

Vince, a former Crows club champion, restricted Sloane to a season-low 11 disposals in the Adelaide Oval fixture.

“Rory is a in a better space than he was nine weeks ago,” Pyke said.

“There is no question he will approach it differently.

“There’s things which he has learnt over that period of time which he is starting to put into his game, there’s options he has now.

“There’s some things which he can go to if he’s not having success against a one-on-one opponent.

“But it’s really no different in some ways to a back who has got a good measure on a forward, you have got to try different things.

“It’s not all Rory… it’s about the sum, it’s not about one individual.”

Meanwhile, Port Adelaide have dropped Jack Hombsch and named Logan Austin for tomorrow’s home game against North Melbourne.

OUT: Jack Hombsch. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily


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