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Talia joins push to farewell the finals bye

Football

Crows defender Daniel Talia has joins a growing chorus calling for the pre-finals bye to be scrapped.

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Next weekend’s preliminary final – against the winner of tomorrow night’s semi-final between Geelong and Sydney – will be only Adelaide’s second game in a month because of the week off before the major round, which was first introduced last year.

“I’d probably like to see it scrapped, to be honest,” Talia told reporters today.

“I just think that team that wins the first week, you’ve got two byes in three weeks and I’m not a huge fan of it… it halts a bit of momentum.

“But that’s for the AFL to decide… my opinion’s not going to change that.”

It’s an opinion, though, shared by influential commentators, including premiership coaches Alastair Clarkson and Paul Roos.

Talia himself will enter the preliminary final having played only one game in five weeks – after he was rested from the last home-and-away game because of an ankle complaint.

“It’s weird saying that, one game in five weeks, it’s a bit crazy thinking about it,” he said.

“But it doesn’t feel like we have missed that much footy because we have been training so hard.”

Adelaide are planning another demanding training session on Saturday, with an internal trial to maintain match fitness.

“We have got a really big session coming up Saturday where we’re going to do a bit of match play and … treat it almost like a game,” Talia said.

The Crows spent three nights on the Gold Coast from Sunday after winning their way into only their second home preliminary final in club history.

Some critics have queried the move but Talia says the camp wasn’t a holiday.

“We’re still training really hard. We haven’t been just up there getting some sun,” he said.

Critics were “clutching at straws” about the impact of the camp, he said.

“What happens next weekend, the camp is not going to affect that,” Talia said.

“We were well aware that (criticism) was probably going to happen when we went up there.

“But we’re not worried about what other people are saying.

“We know what works for us … we will let the talk be the talk.

“We will just keep training hard. We’re in a really good position mentally and physically to have a crack at getting to a granny (grand final) and that is what we will focus on.”

-AAP

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