The Crows travelled to Melbourne this morning and will train at an undisclosed location in the afternoon.
The move breaks with their traditional routine ahead of matches in Melbourne – training in Adelaide before flying to the Victorian capital in the afternoon.
“We decided we will train over in Melbourne this year, for the first game anyway, slightly different,” Crows coach Don Pyke told reporters at Adelaide Airport.
“We had some discussions with the players and, given we play a lot of night games this year, … they just felt travel over in the morning, get organised, have a run later this afternoon and get ready to play.”
The Crows wouldn’t disclose the venue of the afternoon training, which will be a closed session.
Pyke also refused to confirm the make-up of his selected side ahead of the official release of teams later today.
The coach even declined to say how many of his players were travelling to Melbourne.
“We will take a squad over, our 22 plus a couple of others … 24 or 23, one of the two,” he said.
Pyke earlier in the week said 18-year-old forward Darcy Fogarty and 21-year-old defender Tom Doedee would make their AFL debuts.
Ex-Carlton star Bryce Gibbs is a certain starter and North Melbourne recruit Sam Gibson is also expected to play.
“Watch this space with Sam but he’s done everything he can to get a spot,” Pyke said.
Pyke was more forthcoming on the challenge presented by an Essendon side widely expected to reach the finals this season.
“The first game of the year you always go in a little bit uncertain because you have only got the two (pre-season) games and maybe some scouting that you have done on them,” he said.
“But most teams have a DNA and Essendon have probably had a DNA last year around (being) a high scoring team, they really had the ability to challenge teams from an offensive viewpoint.
“And they have been on record as saying they want to improve their defensive stuff so we expect that is the case.”
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