AFL 3 years ago

The Sweet and Sour of AFL Trading: Adelaide Crows

  • The Sweet and Sour of AFL Trading: Adelaide Crows
  • The Sweet and Sour of AFL Trading: Adelaide Crows
  • The Sweet and Sour of AFL Trading: Adelaide Crows
  • The Sweet and Sour of AFL Trading: Adelaide Crows
  • The Sweet and Sour of AFL Trading: Adelaide Crows
  • The Sweet and Sour of AFL Trading: Adelaide Crows
If the sweet and sour headline looks familiar, it’s most likely that you’ve previously read my sweet and sour analysis on Adelaide’s drafting since 2001. But now we turn our attention to their trading.

Adelaide has had some busy off-seasons of late. They’ve traded out high draft picks, big names have left, and they’ve received some trash and some treasure in return.

So let’s get into it. Here are the three sweetest and three sourest trade deals the Adelaide Crows have been involved in since 2001.

Top Three Sweets


Melbourne drafted Scott Thompson with the 16th pick in the 2000 National Draft. After 39 games in three years with the Demons, Thompson requested a trade home to South Australia in 2004.

Enter Adelaide, who manufactured a trade to send pick 12 to the Demons, in exchange for Thompson.

Now, Adelaide had possession of this pick through an earlier trade, in which they sent Tyson Stenglein to West Coast and received picks 12 and pick 28.

Pick 12 floated from West Coast to Adelaide to Melbourne, then to Geelong (for Brent Moloney), and finally landed at Richmond through the Brad Ottens deal.

The Tigers drafted Danny Meyer with that pick in 2004, who managed only 26 career games.

But back to Scott Thompson. Since his move to Adelaide, Scott Thompson now sits at 274 games, having kicked 155 goals. He is a two-time best and fairest winner and was named All-Australian in 2012. He also finished fourth in the Brownlow Medal count in 2012.

He has been a terrific midfielder for the Crows. He is a tough, contested ball winner who always puts the team first. Over his career, he has averaged 23 disposals, 4 marks and 4 tackles a game. He is an absolute champion of the club.

Definitely a sweet trade for the Crows.


Originally a rookie-drafted player, Sam Jacobs played 17 games with the Blues before requesting a trade back to his home in Adelaide.

The talented ruckman struggled to find senior opportunities with the Blues, after they loaded their ruck stocks with Matthew Kruezer and Shaun Hampson.

So, in 2010, a deal was struck. Adelaide sent picks 34 and 67 to the Blues, and received Sam Jacobs in return.

Since his move, Jacobs have developed himself into an elite, and one of the best ruckmen in the AFL.

Adelaide was desperate for a ruckman after trading out Ben Hudson in 2007 and Jonathon Griffin in 2010. Jacobs was able to hold his spot as the number one ruckman with the Crows, and eventually the club traded Ivan Maric in 2011.

Jacobs has now played 116 AFL games. In 2014, he was statistically ranked the best ruckman in the competition. He is already a two-time Showdown Medalist, and a two-time All-Australian nominee. He was very stiff to miss out last season.

Over his career, he averages 13 disposals, 4 marks and 30 hit outs a game. Jacobs to the Crows is a deal that definitely worked in Adelaide’s favour.

The two players Carlton drafted (with the picks received in the Jacobs deal) are not with the club, nor in the AFL anymore. Carlton’s ruck stocks have looked thin at times, due to injury and poor performances.

Big tick for Adelaide. A very very sweet trade.


2011 was a very busy off-season for the Crows. They lost Phil Davis to the Giants. They lost Jack Gunston to the Hawks. They also traded Ivan Maric to the Tigers. And, in hindsight, their trade to get Lewis Johnston didn’t turn out as they’d hoped.

However, they did receive Tom Lynch and Josh Jenkins in different deals, after trading out different picks.

But perhaps their boldest move was trading pick 10 and their compensation pick for Davis, to the Giants, in exchange for defender Luke Brown and the Giants’ 2nd pick in the 2011 mini-draft. As you know, the Crows went on to draft Brad Crouch as a 17-year old.

This is an early call, but if Crouch gets his body right, and Brown continues as he has started, this could be one of the sweeter deals the Crows have ever made.

Crouch was ineligible to play for the Crows until 2013. However, in his debut year, he burst onto the scene, emerging as one of Adelaide’s best young talents and one of their best midfielders. He finished runner-up in the Rising Star Award, with a hamstring injury limiting him to only 14 games for the year. However, over his 14 games, he averaged 25 disposals, 4 marks and 4 tackles. Extraordinary numbers for a first year player.

In 2014, his second season, he was struck by the injury curse again, only able to feature in the last nine games of the season.

He is yet to play in 2015 due to another injury spell, but if Crouch can be 100% healthy, he could prove to be a damaging force within the Adelaide Crows line-up.

He’s already a fan-favourite and a promising talent, evident in Adelaide’s daring trading to secure his services.

As I mentioned above, Luke Brown also came across to the Crows in that deal. Brown has been a great recruit for the club. In his third season, he has played 58 games and has cemented his spot as a quality small defender within the Crows backline.

He is tasked with closing down the opposition’s most dangerous small forwards; a role he has thrived in to start his career. In 2014, he gave up an average of only one goal a game.

On the flip side, GWS drafted Liam Sumner with pick 10 (from Adelaide), who has yet to secure a consistent spot in their line-up. Whilst Phil Davis has also battled a horrendous injury curse since he walked out on the Crows to join the Giants.


2001 – Traded Andrew Eccles to Carlton and received Kris Massie (played 88 games for Crows)

2003 – Traded for Scott Stevens (119 games with Crows & was a fan-favourite), traded out picks 29 and 45

2011 – As a result of Jack Gunston trade, picks were on-traded, eventually landed Josh Jenkins and traded pick 31 to Essendon

2011 – Traded Ivan Maric to Richmond for pick 37, which was on-traded to St Kilda for Tom Lynch. Saints drafted Jack Newnes.

2014 – Traded picks 10 & 47, received picks 14 and 35. Drafted Jake Lever with pick 14 who looks great early on.

Top three sours


The Sydney Swans originally drafted Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald with the 4th pick in the 1998 AFL Draft. The South Australian product was a promising young forward who unfortunately struggled with season-ending injuries during his time with the Swans.

In the 2001 off-season, the Swans traded Fitzy to the Crows and received pick 28 in return.

Due to continued bad luck with injury, Fitzy managed only 8 games with the Crows, before retiring from football after doing another ACL.

Sydney went on to draft Mark Powell with pick 28 in the 2001 Draft. Powell played only 8 games after struggling for opportunities.

However, it’s fun to fantasize, but if the Crows had kept a hold of pick 28, they could have drafted Sam Mitchell, Leigh Montagna, Dane Swan, Lewis Roberts Thomson and Brian Lake, who were all still available in 2001.

A lose-lose for both clubs...and a trade that didn’t work in the Crows favour at all.


After a turbulent 108-game career with the Tigers, the former pick four in the 2004 draft, Richard Tambling, was given an opportunity to resurrect his career up in Adelaide.

The Crows gave up their end of first round compensation pick (for Nathan Bock) and pick 51 to bring Tambling over to the club.

After just 16 games in three seasons with the Crows, Tambling was delisted. Tambling unfortunately had an underwhelming career, after being drafted as an exciting talent.

Not a good trade for the Crows.

3 – A BUSY 2007

2007 was another chaotic off-season for Adelaide. Mark Riccuito, a legend of the club retired, Scott Welsh walked out and three others were delisted.

However, despite a few trades not working out, the 2007 draft brought the Crows Patrick Dangerfield, Andy Otten and Taylor Walker.

But back to the trades. After 98 games with the Crows, the club decided to trade Martin Mattner to the Swans for pick 28. Pick 28 was then on-traded to the Power to secure Brad Symes. The Crows also traded John Meeson to the Demons, in exchange for pick 37, which was on-traded to North Melbourne to get Brad Moran. Ben Hudson and pick 43 were sent to the Bulldogs, and the Crows received picks 30 and 38 in return.

Here’s the sour part.

Despite playing 60 games with the Crows, Symes had an average tenure with the club, and was delisted in 2012.

Brad Moran, a ruckman, played only 18 games in three years and retired in 2011 due to niggling injuries.
And picks 30 and 38 were used to draft Jarrhan Jacky and Myke Cook, who managed 17 games between them.

The one success out of this trade was Martin Mattner, who was the first player traded to begin with. Mattner went on to have a very successful career with the Swans, retiring as a 222-game, premiership player in 2013.


2001 – Traded premiership player Peter Vardy, received pick 56 from Melbourne

2001 – Traded David Gallagher to Carlton, received Ben Nelson

2001 – Traded pick 56 (from Vardy trade) to Fremantle for Daniel Schnell

2003 – Traded Fergus Watts to St Kilda and received pick 17. Drafted Darren Pfeiffer who never played a game with the Crows

2011 – Picks 35, 68 & Tony Armstrong were traded to Sydney for Lewis Johnston


Did the Wayne Carey experiment work? Was it a sweet or sour move?

In 2002, Adelaide, North Melbourne and Richmond manufactured a stunning three-way deal.

Here’s how it played out.

Adelaide premiership player Kane Johnson was homesick, and requested a trade back to Victoria. So, Johnson and draft picks were traded from Richmond; Richmond traded its top picks, pick 2 and pick 18 to North Melbourne; and North Melbourne sent Wayne Carey to the Crows.

With pick 2, the Kangaroos drafted Daniel Wells, whilst Johnson went on to have a successful career with the Tigers.

Carey, one of the greatest to ever play the game, kicked 67 goals in 28 games over his controversial tenure with Adelaide.

He made an impact, but was it the kind the Adelaide Crows were hoping for? You decide...sweet or sour?


Adelaide’s sweet trading has outweighed their sour trading since 2001. They were challenged with the Kurt Tippett saga, they were disappointed when Phil Davis left and they’ve had to deal with some bad luck with injury to some of their recruits.

They’ve made bold moves, they’ve made calculated moves and they’ve made some untidy ones. But the likes of Sam Jacobs and Scott Thompson don’t come to the club if that doesn’t happen.

The recruitment of Eddie Betts through free agency could be the sweetest move in recent time, but the looming departure of Patrick Dangerfield could prove to be sweet or sour, depending on how the Crows go about it.

Despite starting this analysis from 2001, a special mention to the Andrew McLeod trade in 1994 is necessary. The sweetest trade in Adelaide’s history? I think so.

I’m interested to see how the Bernie Vince trade plays out. Adelaide sent him to Melbourne (where is has resurrected his career as a tagger), and the Crows received pick 23 (compensation for Colin Sylvia). The Crows drafted Matt Crouch who is still young and developing.

There have been big names, big trades and big calls made by Adelaide officials since 2001. They’ve had very busy off-seasons and very quiet ones. In fact, in 2009, Adelaide was the only club not to make a trade.

It’s been sweet, it’s been sour... and it’s definitely been entertaining.
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