AFL great Glen Jakovich believes Adelaide’s major focus in 2021 should be to rebuild the brand that has been damaged by off-field indiscretions since the 2017 Grand Final.
The Crows have been rocked by ongoing off-field issues for multiple years now, the latest of which being a trio of incidents attached to young forward Tyson Stengle and a drink-driving offence charged to Josh Worrell.
Jakovich believes above all else, Adelaide needs to get their house in order.
“They’ve got to rebuild their brand. Their brand has still been decimated from that infamous camp they had after the 2017 Grand Final,” he told Sportsday WA.
“There were still issues lingering last year and surely as a club they’ve put it to bed, brought out a report on it and hopefully the football world can put it to bed.
“But they need to rebuild their brand as a football club and it doesn’t take long. They’re a proud club, they’re a big football club, well supported both on and off the field, but they need to rebuild their brand.”
Jakovich is somewhat confident the reigning wooden spoon holders can bounce back in 2021 and believes in their mix of veterans and youngsters.
“They won three of their last five games and they’ve still got some players there. Matt Crouch, Taylor Walker on his last legs, Rory Sloane, David Mackay,” he said.
“I like their defenders. They’ve got some All-Australian defenders still running around there.
“Rory Laird, Brodie Smith, Daniel Talia, who’s been a premier defender for them.
“A bit of confidence, a healthy list, but for me their focus should be to build their brand up again.
“They’re going to play their kids, but the opportunity is there to grind it out and climb the ladder, I think they’ve drafted quite well.”
Jakovich adds that their coaching staff has the skills necessary to fast-track their next generation, which is important given they’ve just entered a rebuild.
“They’ve just settled on their match committee and James Rahilly who’s now the forwards coach, he was head of development at Geelong for 10 years under Chris Scott, he brings a wealth of experience,” Jakovich said.
“Add Scott Burns, Nathan Van Berlo comes back, there’s some real warheads there that can really get their development on track and fast-track their kids and I think that’s really important.
“I like Adelaide, I think they can do a few things in 2021. Do they make the eight? No they don’t, but I’ll keep saying it, they’ve got to rebuild their brand.
“They can win anywhere between six to eight games next year. They’ve got a good draw early on in the piece. As long as their top end players play well.”