Adelaide Football Club

The Adelaide Football Club, nicknamed the Crows, are a professional Australian rules football club based in Adelaide, South Australia that was founded in 1990. The Crows have fielded a men's team in the Australian Football League (AFL) since 1991, and a women's team in the AFL Women's (AFLW) competition since 2017.[3] The club's offices and training facilities are located in the western Adelaide suburb of West Lakes, at the site of the club's former home ground Football Park. Since 2014 Adelaide have played home matches at the Adelaide Oval, a 53,500-seat stadium located a few hundred metres north of the Adelaide CBD.[4]

Adelaide Football Club
Adelaide Crows logo 2010.svg
Full nameAdelaide Football Club[1]
Nickname(s)The Crows
MottoWe Fly As One
2022 season
After finalsN/A (AFL)
1st (AFLW)
Home-and-away season14th (AFL)
2nd (SANFL)
1st (AFLW)
Leading goalkickerTaylor Walker (47) (AFL)
Matthew Wright (33) (SANFL)
Ashleigh Woodland (21) (AFLW)
Club details
Founded12 September 1990[2]
ColoursNavy blue, red, gold
CompetitionAFL: Senior men
AFLW: Senior women
SANFL: Reserves men
ChairmanJohn Olsen
CEOTim Silvers
CoachAFL: Matthew Nicks
AFLW: Matthew Clarke
SANFL: Michael Godden
Captain(s)AFL: Jordan Dawson
AFLW: Chelsea Randall
SANFL: Matthew Wright
PremiershipsAFL (2) AFLW (3)
Ground(s)AFL: Adelaide Oval (53,587)
AFLW: Norwood Oval (15,000)
Former ground(s)Football Park (1991–2013)
Training ground(s)Football Park
Other information

The Crows were formed in 1990 as the de facto state team representing South Australia in the AFL. They were originally owned by the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), though they gained administrative independence in 2014. They played their first season in 1991 and finished in 9th place, the highest ranking of any expansion club in the AFL in a debut year.[5][6] The men's team won both the 1997 and 1998 Grand Finals, and have appeared in 15 finals series in their 29-year history. Adelaide is the most successful team in the AFL Women's competition, being the only club to have won multiple premierships; in 2017, 2019 and 2022. It also fields a reserves team in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), along with the other South Australian football team in the Port Adelaide Football Club.

The men's team is currently coached by Matthew Nicks and captained by Jordan Dawson.


1990s: Foundation and back-to-back triumphEdit

After the VFL was renamed the AFL for the 1990 season, the SANFL clubs unanimously resolved, in 1990, that a team would not be entered into the AFL until 1992.[7] The AFL refused to accept this, and revised negotiations with individual clubs Port Adelaide and Norwood.[8] Two months later, the Port Adelaide Football Club reached terms of agreement with the AFL to enter a team into its competition in season 1991. The other nine SANFL clubs reacted strongly and entered into litigation in an endeavour to halt Port's bid. As the terms offered were more favourable than previously offered, talks were resumed.[9] On 19 September 1990, the AFL approved the bid for a new South Australian club to enter into the league rather than a single existing SANFL club.[6][9]

The Adelaide Crows played their first season in the AFL in 1991. Inaugural coach Graham Cornes[10] and captain Chris McDermott led Adelaide to a respectable ninth place out of 15 in the league, with 10 wins and 12 losses and a percentage of 89.44.[11] Adelaide's first AFL game was against Hawthorn on Friday 22 March at their then home ground, Football Park. The Crows defeated the eventual premiers by a hefty 86-point margin, winning 24.11 (155) to 9.15 (69).[12] The club reached its first finals series in the 1993 AFL season, eventually losing to Essendon in the preliminary final.

Premiership glory in 1997 and 1998Edit

The year 1997 marked the entry of a second South Australian club, Port Adelaide. The Crows finished fourth to qualify for its first finals series since 1993, and hosted fifth-placed West Coast in the First Elimination Final. In the first final ever to be played at Football Park, the Crows won 14.15 (99) to 9.12 (66). The next week, Adelaide benefited from the finals system in use at the time and hosted the higher ranked Geelong, who had finished two places above the Crows but were forced to play away due to losing the previous week to North Melbourne. The Crows won narrowly in a controversial match, where a clear forward 50 mark to Geelong's Leigh Colbert during a critical stage of the third quarter was not awarded by field umpire Grant Vernon. Final scores: Adelaide 11.10 (76) to Geelong 9.14 (68). This set up an away Preliminary Final against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG. Despite losing Coleman Medallist Tony Modra, who had kicked 84 goals for the season, to an ACL injury in the first quarter and trailing by 31 points at half time, the Crows kicked four unanswered goals in the last quarter to record a two-point victory, 12.21 (93) to 13.13 (91), with Darren Jarman kicking a goal to put Adelaide in front with less than two minutes remaining. This allowed the Crows to qualify for their first AFL Grand Final, to be played against St Kilda at the MCG a week later.

St Kilda, chasing just their second premiership in VFL/AFL history, were warm favourites to win the Grand Final, having come first in the minor round and won both of their finals by margins of 46 and 31 points, against an Adelaide side without Tony Modra, Mark Ricciuto and goalsneak Peter Vardy due to injury. However, the Crows again overcame a half-time deficit, kicking 14 second-half goals to win by 31 points, 19.11 (125) to 13.16 (94). Darren Jarman kicked six goals, five of which came in the last quarter, whilst utility Shane Ellen kicked a career-best five and Troy Bond kicked four. Andrew McLeod, who gathered 31 possessions across half-back and in the midfield, won the Norm Smith Medal for the best player on-field in the Grand Final. The win is arguably one of the finest moments in South Australian sporting history.

Few expected the Crows to successfully defend their premiership the following year. Adelaide often struggled in close matches during the 1998 AFL season; seven of their nine losses were by 13 points or less, compared to only three wins by corresponding margins (they finished the regular season fifth on the ladder, with a record of 13–9). The Crows were well beaten by Melbourne in the qualifying final at the MCG by 48 points, and at the time, looked far from a premiership threat. Since season 2000, a loss in the finals by a team outside the top four would result in instant elimination, but the Crows benefited from a quirk in the McIntyre finals system that was in use during the 90's and still progressed to the second week, drawn to play a semi final against the Sydney Swans at the SCG. The Crows bounced back from their disappointing first finals loss and recorded a comprehensive upset 27-point win against the Swans in the wet, which set up a Preliminary Final rematch against the Western Bulldogs. Despite going into the match as underdogs, the Crows played some of their best football of the year to soundly beat the Dogs by 68 points - 24.17 (161) to 13.15 (93). It was a complete contrast to the thriller that took place the previous year, with Matthew Robran kicking six goals and Andrew McLeod, opposed to renowned tagger Tony Liberatore, booting seven.

Like the previous year, Adelaide went into the Grand Final as underdogs, playing against North Melbourne, who had won the premiership in 1996 and had won eleven consecutive matches leading up to the Grand Final. North Melbourne led by 24 points at half-time, 6.15 (51) to 4.3 (27), with only their inaccurate goalkicking keeping Adelaide in the contest. However, as they had in the previous year, Adelaide dominated the second half to win by 35 points, 15.15 (105) to 8.22 (70) - the result making Adelaide the only club during the decade of the 1990s to achieve the feat of winning back to back AFL premierships. Darren Jarman kicked five goals, while Andrew McLeod won his second successive Norm Smith Medal, an unprecedented feat. Club legend Mark Ricciuto won the Crows' Club Champion award in 1998. Following a disappointing year in 1999, premiership coach Malcolm Blight resigned from the role and the Crows entered the new millennium with two premierships under their belt.

2000s: Finals and near missesEdit

The Crows next made the finals in 2001 AFL season, this after losing their opening three matches for the season. Adelaide played fifth-placed Carlton at the MCG in the First Elimination Final and were roundly defeated, 17.16 (118) to 6.14 (50). High-profile forward Darren Jarman announced his retirement after the match. Adelaide's impressive 2002 AFL season (in which they achieved a 15–7 win–loss record) came undone at the penultimate stage, losing to Collingwood in the Preliminary Final at the MCG. Ben Hart won his second Malcolm Blight Medal in 2002, with Tyson Edwards finishing runner-up. Brett Burton led the Crows' goalkickers with 51. Hart and Mark Ricciuto were both named as All-Australians. Adelaide then extracted some revenge by defeating Collingwood in the pre-season competition in 2003, a first win of its kind for the club. The Crows' impressive 2003 season was eventually halted by the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba in the semi-finals. That season, Adelaide captain Mark Ricciuto became the first and (as of 2022) only Crow to win the Brownlow Medal for the best and fairest player in the AFL in a three-way tie with Adam Goodes and Nathan Buckley.[13] The Crows returned to finals in 2005 and recorded a famous win in what to this day remains the only Showdown match against rivals Port Adelaide in the semi-finals. They then lost once more at the penultimate stage (preliminary final), to West Coast at Subiaco Oval by 16 points. This was a feat the club unfortunately repeated in 2006 when they again lost to West Coast in the preliminary final, this time at home and by an even smaller margin.

Remarkably, Adelaide went on to qualify for finals for each of the remaining seasons in the 2000s, falling short at the elimination or semi-final on each occasion. Collingwood proved to be the most obvious of villains, knocking the Crows out of the finals race successively in 2008 and 2009. Andrew McLeod and Bernie Vince won club best and fairest awards in that time.

Adelaide's finals runs in the 2000s

Year Lost in Opponent Margin of defeat
2001 Elimination Final Carlton 68 points
2002 Preliminary Final Collingwood 28 points
2003 Semi Final Brisbane Lions 42 points
2005 Preliminary Final West Coast 16 points
2006 Preliminary Final West Coast 10 points
2007 Elimination Final Hawthorn 3 points
2008 Elimination Final Collingwood 31 points
2009 Semi Final Collingwood 5 points

2010s: Rebuilding and tragedyEdit

Adelaide had a disastrous start to the 2010 season, losing their first six matches of the home and away season. They did recover to some extent in the back half of the year, finishing 11th with nine wins and thirteen losses, the first time under coach Neil Craig that the team did not make the finals. The season marked a turning point, with the likes of McLeod, Simon Goodwin and fellow stars Brett Burton, Tyson Edwards and Trent Hentschel all announcing their retirements during the season.[14] Long-term defender and club stalwart Nathan Bock announced he was leaving the club to join new side Gold Coast.[15] These changes led to a disastrous 2011 campaign, which proved to be the second worst season in the club's history. After a 103-point loss to fading champions St Kilda, the club's longest-serving coach Neil Craig stepped down, handing the reins to assistant coach and former premiership captain Mark Bickley as caretaker for the remainder of the season.[16]

Under Bickley the club won three of their next four games, but lost their final two to Richmond and West Coast, finishing in 14th place with 7 wins and 15 losses. Scott Thompson won the Malcolm Blight Medal (best and fairest award) for the season. New coach Brenton Sanderson began his era at the club with a pre-season premiership in 2012 and followed up that success with an above-expectations regular season; the Crows finishing 17-5 and never once losing consecutive matches. Adelaide eventually qualified to face minor premiers Hawthorn at the MCG in the First Preliminary Final. Hawthorn led for most of the match and despite Adelaide taking the lead with five minutes remaining, the Hawks responded to win the match by five points, yet another heartbreaking finals series loss for the Crows. Adelaide would then fall under the weight of expectations to some degree in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, narrowly missing the top 8 on both occasions. This led to Sanderson being sacked at the end of the 2014 season. The club moved home matches to the newly redeveloped Adelaide Oval at the start of the 2014 season, though to this day the Crows retain their training and administrative headquarters at their old home stadium, Football Park.

2012: Scandal and InvestigationEdit

At the end of 2012, it was revealed that Adelaide had been found guilty of breaching the salary cap and tampering with the draft. As a sign of cooperation with the AFL, Adelaide forfeited themselves from the first two rounds of the 2012 draft.[17] At a hearing at AFL House in Melbourne, both the Adelaide Crows and current CEO at the time, Steven Trigg, were both fined $300,000 and $50,000 respectively.[18] The Adelaide Football Club were also suspended from participating in the first two rounds of the 2013 draft.[19] It's widely accepted to be the league's biggest salary cap and list management scandal since Carlton in 2002.[18]

2014: Transfer of SANFL licenceEdit

In March 2014, on the eve of the new season, the South Australian Football Commission announced it had struck a deal with the Adelaide Football Club which required the SANFL to transfer its ownership of the Crows' licence to the club, in exchange for payments totalling $11.326 million between 2013 and 2028. The arrangement marked the first time the Adelaide Football Club had independent control of its own administration and came in conjunction with measures designed to solidify the SANFL's control of game development and the sport in South Australia.[20][21]

2015: Death of Phil WalshEdit

The 2015 season started successfully for the Adelaide Football Club with a 77-point win over reigning preliminary finalists North Melbourne. Newly appointed coach Phil Walsh oversaw a rapidly improving team that became known for their skilled ball use and ability to grind out wins. During the season, Adelaide was cleared of any wrongdoing by the AFL in the Eddie Betts affair, which became newsworthy following an allegation that Betts's transfer to the Crows from Carlton had been illegally signed and approved as much as 18 months prior to his move.[22]

Fans gather at Adelaide Oval to pay tribute to Phil Walsh.

On 3 July, two days prior to Adelaide's then-scheduled round 14 match against Geelong, coach Phil Walsh was stabbed to death by his son at the age of 55 in his Somerton Park home.[23] His son Cy Walsh would later be found not guilty of murder due to mental incompetence and placed under a lifetime psychiatric supervision licence, ordering that he be detained indefinitely in a secure psychiatric facility.[24][25] The tragedy was followed by an outpouring of sympathy and tributes from the club's fans and the wider AFL community.[26] The match against the Cats was cancelled, with both teams receiving two premiership points each.[27] Adelaide's SANFL team's match against South Adelaide, scheduled for the next day, was postponed until later in the season.[28]

On 6 July, assistant coach Scott Camporeale was appointed interim coach for the remainder of the season, while West Coast premiership coach John Worsfold was hired as coaching director to support Camporeale.[29] Inspiringly, the team rebounded to win six of their next seven games and qualify for the 2015 finals series, where they defeated the Western Bulldogs by seven points in a thrilling elimination final at the MCG. Their season ended when they lost to eventual premiers Hawthorn the next week.[30]

2016–2019: Don Pyke eraEdit

Star midfielder for many years Patrick Dangerfield left the club at the end of the 2015 season (a season in which he won the club's best and fairest) and Don Pyke, a former premiership player and assistant coach with West Coast who had also been an assistant coach at Adelaide from 2005 to 2006, was appointed Adelaide's senior coach for at least three years.[31] Adelaide was widely tipped to slide out of the finals in 2016[32][33][34] but the Crows proved to be one of the successes of the season, comfortably qualifying for a home elimination final and defeating North Melbourne by 62 points, before being eliminated the next week by eventual beaten grand finalists, Sydney in the semi-finals. The club had a dominant 2017 season, winning their opening six games and never falling below second place for the entire season. Adelaide claimed their second McClelland Trophy as minor premiers.[35] The Adelaide Crows entered the 2017 finals series as favourites for the premiership; they defeated Greater Western Sydney and Geelong by 36 and 61 points respectively to qualify for the Grand Final, their first since 1998, where they faced Richmond. Despite starting as rampaging hot favourites, the Crows lost the match by 48 points and finished runners up for the first time in their history.[36]

The club struggled to replicate its 2017 form in the 2018 AFL season. Prior to the season, Adelaide players went on a controversial pre-season camp that led to a decline in morale among the club's players.[37] Adelaide struggled with injuries during the year, including Captain Taylor Walker, Rory Sloane, Brad Crouch, Tom Lynch, Rory Laird, and Richard Douglas.[38] Combined with the loss of Cameron and Lever, the Crows struggled throughout the year but held on to win twelve games, including against 2017 Premiers Richmond and soon-to-be 2018 Premiers West Coast. The club finished 12th on the ladder with 12 wins, 10 losses, and a percentage of 104.1, and below crosstown rivals Port Adelaide who finished 10th, but with 3.5 more percentage points. This put Adelaide out of the finals for the first time since 2014.[39] One highlight towards the end of the year was Rory Sloane who, despite rumours of a trade home to Victoria, signed a five-year contract to effectively play out his time as a one-club player.[40]

There were lofty aspirations going into 2019, with many expecting them to play finals or even in the premiership.[41][42] Despite fewer injuries, the club failed to meet these lofty expectations of finals, finishing 11th with 10 wins, 12 losses, and 100.9 percentage points. There was much media coverage given to the team throughout the season, with concerns raised about player retention and the coaching staff, especially with players like Bryce Gibbs, Josh Jenkins, and Eddie Betts dropped on and off throughout the season due to issues of form.[43] Following the end of their season, the club began an external review of their football operations, with many musing about the future of players and coaching staff.[44] Prior to the conclusion of the review, co-captain Taylor Walker resigned his captaincy after four years to focus on his football and family.[45] A week later, Coach Don Pyke stepped down, a decision unrelated to the reviews that were occurring.[46]

2018 Adelaide Crows pre-season campEdit

The 2018 Adelaide Crows pre-season camp was a summer camp undertaken by players of the Adelaide Football Club from January 29 to February 2 in the lead-up to the 2018 AFL season.[47] In Eddie Betts' biography, he released details of what happened at the camp. These revelations caused many to question what had been said to that point regarding the camp.[48] Following the release of Eddie Betts biography, Josh Jenkins released a statement with further details from the camp. His opposition to aspects of the camp led to him being ostracised and was the reason he left the club.[49]

2020–present: Matthew Nicks eraEdit

Former Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney assistant coach Matthew Nicks was appointed as Adelaide's senior coach on October 15, 2019, replacing the outgoing Pyke. Under new coach Nicks, the Crows lost the first 13 matches of the coronavirus-affected 2020 AFL season and ultimately claimed their first wooden spoon in club history. However, the Crows' disastrous season did end with some optimism, as the Crows broke the drought in round 15 against Hawthorn and won three matches in a row towards the season's conclusion. Young wingman Lachlan Sholl received a Rising Star nomination in their Round 18 win over Carlton. Furthermore, the Crows received their highest-ever draft pick at the 2020 AFL draft, and with pick 2 they selected Riley Thilthorpe from the West Adelaide Football Club.[50] Ruckman Reilly O'Brien won the Malcolm Blight Medal as the Crow's best and fairest player of the season.

The Crows won their first game of the 2021 AFL season, beating the reigning Grand Finalists Geelong in an upset victory. The Crows improved slightly over their disastrous 2020 campaign, losing only one of their first four games.[51] They had a few more wins, including another upset over the eventual premiers Melbourne. They finished 15th on the AFL ladder, and ball-magnet Rory Laird won their best-and-fairest medal. Taylor Walker enjoyed a return to form in 2021, and a hot start to the season saw him finish tied at fifth in the Coleman Medal.[52] The Crows had three Rising Star nominations throughout the year, going to Thilthorpe in Round 13 for his last-minute heroics against St. Kilda,[53] midfielder Harry Schoenberg in Round 19, and two-time nominee Sholl in Round 4.[54]

Walker was banned from the AFL for six games between the 2021 and 2022 AFL seasons due to racist comments directed towards Robbie Young of the North Adelaide Football Club mid-way through a SANFL match. Despite a public apology to both Young and Walker's Indigenous teammates,[55] Walker was booed during Adelaide's away games after the end of his suspension. After requesting a move home to South Australia and subsequently nominating the Crows, high-value Sydney wingman Jordan Dawson was traded to Adelaide in the 2021 trade period.[56] The Crows hosted the first-ever Friday night Showdown in Round 3, and claimed one of their best-ever wins via an after-the-siren bending kick from the recruit Dawson, who received best-on-ground honours.[57] Captain Rory Sloane ruptured his ACL in the round 5 victory over Richmond[58] and sat on the sidelines for the rest of 2022, leaving captaincy duties to the rest of leadership team. The role of captain rotated between Reilly O'Brien, Ben Keays, Brodie Smith, and Tom Doedee for the remainder of the season.[59] Promising young small forward Josh Rachele received a Rising Star nomination in Round 4.[60] The Crows notched up a few more wins to boast their best season since 2019. Adelaide traded in Izak Rankine at a high price, leaving them no first-round draft picks in the 2022 AFL draft. Rory Laird was awarded his third Malcolm Blight medal, tied as the most by any Adelaide player ever alongside Simon Goodwin, Andrew McLeod and Mark Ricciuto.

Club symbolsEdit

Club guernseyEdit

Adelaide currently has three guernsey designs which are used in different matches throughout the season. The club's guernseys are currently supplied by Irish sportswear company O'Neills.[61]


Home guernsey

The home guernsey features navy blue, red and gold hoops.[62] It is worn at all matches designated as home games for the club as well as in selected away games (currently only Geelong, Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, and Sydney). The jumper is worn with navy shorts at all home and away games, except for away Showdowns, where it is paired with white shorts. It has had only minor variations through its history since debuting with the club in 1991, including adding a white outline to the numbers from 1996 to 2020 which has now been removed since the start of the 2021 season, and the removal of yellow cuffs and addition of navy blue panels down the sides (due to manufacturers template design) in 2006. In 2009 the yellow cuffs and full hoops returned. In 2010 the hoops were cut off again at the sides. For 2016, the club removed the side panels, returning to the full hoops of the original design. The original base design/idea has never changed in the club's 30-year history.[63]

Clash guernseys

The clash guernsey is a colour-swap of the home guernsey, featuring a gold base rather than navy. It is paired with white shorts, and worn in away games where the darker home guernsey may cause a clash of colours with the home team. The current clash guernsey was introduced in 2021, and has replaced a series of white jumpers used since 2010, meaning the clash jumper features club colours for the first time since 2009. A red clash guernsey was introduced in 2021 featuring a red base, which was used against Hawthorn and Richmond.

The red variant has become the primary clash guernsey for the Crows in 2022.

Indigenous guernseys

The club's Indigenous guernsey has been a rotating design since it was first introduced in during the 2013 season vs. North Melbourne.[64] The first iteration of the Adelaide Indigenous guernsey was a simple swap from Navy to Black, representing the colours in the Australian Aboriginal Flag. Since 2014 however, they guernsey has featured art on a navy base from a wide number of indigenous artists and past players, such as Andrew McLeod and Ben Davis.


In previous seasons, the Crows have had variations of alternate guernseys.

Pre-season guernsey (1996–98)

The club briefly used an alternate design in the pre-season competition. It was still in the club colours, but featured the club logo prominently on the front and continuing over onto the back.[65]

Away guernsey (1999–2009)

The away guernsey was originally intended for use in all matches designated as away games, except finals. The design had changed several times over the years since it was first used in 1999.[66] From 2006 the red was removed from the top of the guernsey, moving it closer to the home guernsey. Its usage had waned since the introduction of the "clash" guernsey, to the point where it was only used twice in 2007, against the Western Bulldogs in round 2 and Collingwood in round 22. In a few away matches that year, the club also continued to use the traditional "home" guernsey, something which had rarely been done since the away strip was introduced. In response to this, a new away guernsey was introduced in 2008 featuring more red and yellow with a flying crow on the front – similar in design to the mid-90s pre-season jumper.

Clash guernsey (2006–2020)

The clash guernsey was first introduced for season 2006 and was radically different from the "home" and "away" designs at the time.[66] It was worn at all away games where the AFL deemed there to be a clash with the home team's guernsey design. Initially, the only clubs officially on the "clash list" were Carlton, Essendon, Fremantle, Melbourne and Richmond. Despite this, the AFL forced the club to wear it against other teams, such as Hawthorn and St Kilda in 2007, West Coast in 2008 and the Brisbane Lions in 2008 and 2009. Eventually, the clash jumper was required to be worn in nearly all away games.

The first clash guernsey was red, and was worn from 2006 to 2009. The club first adopted a white clash guernsey in 2010. It featured the club logo on the front with stylised curves in club colours on the front and back with navy stripes down the sides. The design continued to be changed a number of times over the years, but remained predominantly white until the end of the 2020 season.[67]

Alternative guernsey (2016–2017)

The alternative guernsey was the same design as the white clash guernsey of the time, but with a gold base.[68] It was worn in away games in which it provided a greater contrast with the home team than either the home or white clash guernseys. Those teams were North Melbourne, Carlton, Fremantle and Western Bulldogs football clubs. It was always worn with white shorts.

Heritage guernsey (2004–2007)

During the mid-2000s, the Crows adopted three different guernsey designs to wear during the AFL's Heritage Round. The 2004 iteration featured the tri-colour home guernsey but with the AFC crest on the chest and removal of white stroke to the numbers. All heritage guernseys featured each player's name and debut number above the manufacturer's jock tag. Controversially during the 2005 heritage round, the Crows wore an adaptation of a 1930s South Australian state guernsey, with the AFC monogram replacing the SA monogram, which prompted outrage from Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams.[69] The club returned to a similar home design for the 2006 and 2007 Heritage Rounds, with the left panel of the guernsey featuring the colours of all SANFL clubs, before the Heritage Round was scrapped by the AFL.


Port AdelaideEdit

Adelaide has a fierce rivalry with fellow South Australian AFL team Port Adelaide. Matches between the two teams are known as the Showdown. The Showdown rivalry significantly draws upon the bitter, winner take all, competition for the two South Australian licences to join the AFL in the 1980s and early 1990s.[70] The Showdown is often considered the best, and most bitter, in the Australian Football League with Malcolm Blight, Australian Football Hall of Fame Legend, stating in 2009 that "there is no doubt it is the greatest rivalry in football".[71]

Membership base and sponsorshipEdit

In 2006, the club made history becoming the first club in VFL/AFL history to have more than 50,000 members (with 50,138). They broke that record in 2007, signing up 50,146 members after only round one of the season. The club failed to continue this record run and subsequently signed 48,720 members in 2008, barely maintaining their pole position, before slipping to 45,515 in 2010; however, the trend reversed and later breached all-time highs in 2014 when they signed 54,249, although five other clubs had surpassed their membership base by this point, with Collingwood leading with nearly 80,000 members by this point. Adelaide's membership peaked for the 2019 season with 64,437, and their 2022 membership was 63,009.[72]

The club has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Toyota since its inception, leading the club to be known in promotional materials as the "Camry Crows".

Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Lleyton Hewitt has been the club's number-one ticket holder since December 2002.[73] Former federal politician Kate Ellis is the number-one female ticket holder, while Greg Champion, a musician and radio broadcaster, is the Melbourne number-one ticket holder.[74] Australian golfer Adam Scott is also an honorary member of the club.[75]


Year Kit manufacturer Major sponsor Shorts sponsor Bottom rear sponsor Top rear sponsor
1991–93 Toyota
1994 Toyota
1995-96 Toyota
1997–2000 Adidas
2001 Fila
2002 The Ghan
2003–04 Russell Athletic
2005 Carlton Draught
2006–09 Adidas
2010 Reebok Fielders
2011 Crompton Lighting
2013 Puma Adelaide Casino
2014 OTR
2015–16 BLK Domain
2017–18 ISC
2019 Optus Optus
2020 Optus
2021 O'Neills
2022 Thomas Foods Hungry Jack's

Season figuresEdit

Year Membership AFL AFL Women's
Ladder finish Average home crowd Ladder finish Average home crowd
Figure Change H&A Finals Figure Change H&A Finals Figure Change
1991 25,087 9th 40,479
1992 38,673   9th 38,275  
1993 40,100   5th 3rd 46,128  
1994 40,611   11th 42,864  
1995 41,654   11th 38,552  
1996 42,283   12th 39,428  
1997 41,395   4th Premiers 40,116  
1998 41,985   5th Premiers 41,203  
1999 42,120   13th 39,386  
2000 42,896   11th 38,447  
2001 42,014   8th 8th 39,627  
2002 46,620   3rd 3rd 43,068  
2003 47,097   6th 5th 44,524  
2004 45,642   12th 39,879  
2005 43,256   1st 3rd 42,336  
2006 50,138   2nd 3rd 42,329  
2007 50,976   8th 8th 42,042  
2008 48,720   5th 7th 40,678  
2009 46,472   5th 5th 38,801  
2010 45,545   11th 35,773  
2011 46,520   14th 35,020  
2012 45,105   2nd 3rd 36,829  
2013 46,405   11th 33,703  
2014 54,249   10th 48,046  
2015 52,920   7th 6th 46,487  
2016 54,307   5th 6th 47,056  
2017 56,865   1st Runners-up 47,675   2nd Premiers 8,876
2018 64,739   12th 45,417   5th 6,037  
2019 64,437   11th 44,514   1st A Premiers 14,698  
2020 54,891   18th 10,927*   6th A 6,857^  
2021 60,232   15th 24,786   1st Runners-up TBC  
2022 63,099   14th 31,429   1st Premiers TBC  

*Average home crowd for 2020 taken from the 9 home games played with limited crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

^Average home crowd for 2020 taken from the 2 home games played with limited crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Honours and recordsEdit

Club achievementsEdit

Competition Level Wins Years Won
Australian Football League Seniors 2 1997, 1998
AFL Women's Seniors 3 2017, 2019, 2022
Other titles and honours
AFL pre-season competition Seniors 2 2003, 2012
AFLX Tournament Seniors 1 2018
Finishing positions
Australian Football League Minor premiership
(McClelland Trophy)
2 2005, 2017
Grand Finalist 1 2017
Wooden spoons 1 2020
AFL Women's Minor premiership 2 2021, 2022
Grand Finalist 1 2021
Wooden spoons 0 Nil


AFL finishing positions (1991–present)Edit

Finishing Position Year (Finals in Bold) Tally
Premiers 1997, 1998 2
Runner-Up 2017 1
3rd 1993, 2005, 2006, 2012 4
4th 2002 1
5th 2003, 2009 2
6th 2015, 2016 2
7th 2008 1
8th 2001, 2007 2
9th 1991, 1992 2
10th 2014 1
11th 1994, 1995, 2000, 2010, 2013, 2019 6
12th 1996, 2004, 2018 3
13th 1999 1
14th 2011, 2022 2
15th 2021 1
16th nil 0
17th nil 0
18th 2020 1


1997 AFL Grand Final
Saturday, 27 September (2:30 pm) St Kilda def. by Adelaide MCG (crowd: 99,645 [76])
3.6 (24)
7.11 (53)
9.13 (67)
 13.16 (94)
3.8 (26)
5.10 (40)
11.11 (77)
 19.11 (125)
Umpires: Kennedy (7), Sheehan (9), Nash (14)
Norm Smith Medal: Andrew McLeod (Adelaide)
Television broadcast: Seven Network
National anthem: Marina Prior
Heatley 3, Hall 3, Loewe 2, Jones, Burke, Winmar, Peckett, Harvey Goals Jarman 6, Ellen 5, Bond 4, Smart, Goodwin, Rintoul, Caven
Harvey, Jones, Burke, Hall, Cook, Keogh Best McLeod, Jarman, Johnson, Ellen, Goodwin, Caven
  • St Kilda won the coin toss and kicked to the Punt Road end in the first quarter.

1998 AFL Grand Final
Saturday, 26 September (2:30pm) Adelaide def. North Melbourne MCG (crowd: 94,431)
3.2 (20)
4.3 (27)
9.11 (65)
 15.15 (105)
4.4 (28)
6.15 (51)
8.15 (63)
 8.22 (70)
Umpires: Coates (6), Kennedy (7), Goldspink (32)
Norm Smith Medal: Andrew McLeod
Television broadcast: Seven Network
National anthem: Rob Guest
Jarman 5, Smart 3, Vardy 2, James, Pittman, Johnson, Thiessen, Ricciuto Goals Blakey, Pike, Abraham, Carey, Roberts, Bell, Allison, Simpson
McLeod, Hart, Jarman, Johnson, Rehn, Caven, Bickley Best Pickett, Stevens, Martyn, Abraham
  • North Melbourne won the coin toss and kicked to the Punt Road end in the first quarter.

Premiership teamsEdit

1997 Premiership Team
B: Ben Hart Rod Jameson Peter Caven
HB: Andrew McLeod David Pittman Simon Goodwin
C: Kym Koster Kane Johnson Matthew Connell
HF: Troy Bond Matthew Robran Nigel Smart
F: Chad Rintoul Shane Ellen Clay Sampson
Foll: Shaun Rehn Mark Bickley (Capt.) Darren Jarman
Int: Tyson Edwards Aaron Keating Brett James
Coach: Malcolm Blight
1998 Premiership Team
B: Tyson Edwards Ben Hart David Pittman
HB: Simon Goodwin Peter Caven Nigel Smart
C: Kym Koster Darren Jarman Andrew Eccles
HF: Peter Vardy Matthew Robran Andrew McLeod
F: Mark Bickley (Capt.) Mark Stevens Shane Ellen
Foll: Shaun Rehn Mark Ricciuto Kane Johnson
Int: Matthew Connell Brett James Ben Marsh
James Thiessen
Coach: Malcolm Blight

"Team of the Decade"Edit

While some sides named their "Team of the Century" to coincide with the AFL centenary celebrations in 1996, Adelaide only joined the league in 1991, and so later on named their "Team of the Decade", covering the period from 1991 to 2000. As well as earning selection in the team, Mark Ricciuto was named 'Player of the Decade' and Mark Bickley 'Team Man of the Decade.'[77]

Adelaide Team of the Decade
B: Ben Hart Rod Jameson Mark Bickley
HB: Nigel Smart Peter Caven Andrew McLeod
C: Greg Anderson Andrew Jarman Simon Tregenza
HF: Kane Johnson Matthew Robran Mark Ricciuto
F: Darren Jarman Tony Modra Matthew Liptak
Foll: Shaun Rehn Chris McDermott Tony McGuinness
Int: Mark Mickan Simon Goodwin Rodney Maynard
David Pittman
Coach: Malcolm Blight


*Gary Ayres was told that his contract would not be extended when it expired after the 2004 season, and he decided to quit immediately. Assistant coach Neil Craig took over from round 14 as a caretaker coach and was later appointed senior coach for 2005 and beyond.

**Neil Craig resigned the day after a 103-point loss to St Kilda, allowing assistant coach Mark Bickley to coach the remaining six games in the season.[16] Post-season, the club underwent a search for a new coach and hired Brenton Sanderson for the role from 2012.

***Phil Walsh died midway through his first year as coach, the victim of stab wounds in a domestic incident.[23] Assistant coach Scott Camporeale was appointed interim coach for the remainder of the season.[29] After the season, Don Pyke was appointed senior coach from 2016.[31]


*Nathan van Berlo missed the entire 2014 season after injuring his right Achilles tendon in pre-season training. Rory Sloane and Patrick Dangerfield acted as co-captains during his absence.[78]

**Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane were co-captains for the 2019 season.[79] After the season, Walker stepped down, leaving Sloane as the sole captain of the club.[80]

Current playing list and coaching staffEdit

Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  • (B) Category B rookie
  • italics - Inactive player list
  •   Long-term injury
  • (ret.) Retired

Updated: 27 May 2023
Source(s): Senior list, Rookie list, Coaching staff

Past playersEdit

See List of Adelaide Football Club players

Pre-season competitionEdit

2003 Wizard Cup Grand Final SG G B Total
Adelaide 2 13 8 104
Collingwood 1 9 10 73
Venue: Telstra Dome, Melbourne Crowd: 43,571
2012 NAB Cup Grand Final SG G B Total
Adelaide 2 10 17 95
West Coast 2 5 13 61
Venue: Football Park, Adelaide Crowd: 27,376
2018 AFLX Group 1 Grand Final SG G B Total
Adelaide 3 3 7 55
Geelong 2 4 3 47
Venue: Coopers Stadium, Adelaide Crowd: 10,253

AFL Women's teamEdit

Adelaide AFLW team running out prior to the Round 6, 2017, match against Melbourne.

The Adelaide AFLW team is the club's women's team in the AFL Women's league. A founding member of the AFLW, the football club launched a bid to enter a team in the 2017 AFL Women's season in April 2016.[81] The bid was constructed in partnership with AFL Northern Territory, with the club to share resources and facilities between its Adelaide base and AFLNT's Darwin location.[81] The bid became a success in June of that year when the league announced they had been awarded one of eight inaugural licences.[82]

Under inaugural coach Bec Goddard,[83] the team won the first ever AFLW premiership in 2017.[84] The season was also a highlight for individual success, with co-captain Erin Phillips winning the league most valuable player[85] and best on ground in the grand final.[84] Missing the finals in 2018, Goddard quit as coach[86] and was replaced by Matthew Clarke for the 2019 season.[87] Winning six out of the seven home-and-away games, the club returned to finals and won its second premiership with a 45-point win against Carlton.[88] Erin Phillips repeated her individual success by winning the league MVP for the second time[89] and the grand final best on ground despite leaving the ground injured in the third quarter.[88] It was announced in August 2019 that the partnership between Adelaide and AFLNT would not continue.[90] During the COVID-19-interrupted 2020 season, the Crows slumped to only two wins and failed to reach the finals. The club quickly rose back up the following year and won seven of nine home-and-away matches, and they claimed the minor premiership for the 2021 season before going down to Brisbane by 18 points in the 2021 grand final.[91] Adelaide bounced back the next year to win the 2022 AFL Women's Grand Final by 13 points, earning their third premiership, the most of any club in the league.

Current squadEdit

Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  • (i) Inactive

Updated: 27 May 2023
Source(s): Players, Coaches

Season summariesEdit

Adelaide AFLW honour roll
Season Ladder W–L–D Finals Coach Captain(s) Best and fairest Leading goal kicker
2017 2nd 5–2–0 Premiers Bec Goddard Erin Phillips & Chelsea Randall Erin Phillips Erin Phillips (10)
2018 5th 3–3–1 DNQ Bec Goddard Erin Phillips & Chelsea Randall Chelsea Randall Erin Phillips (7)
2019 1st ^ 6–1–0 Premiers Matthew Clarke Erin Phillips & Chelsea Randall Erin Phillips Stevie-Lee Thompson (14)
2020 11th ^ 2–4–0 DNQ Matthew Clarke Erin Phillips & Chelsea Randall Anne Hatchard Danielle Ponter (5)
2021 1st 7–2–0 Runners-up Matthew Clarke Chelsea Randall Ebony Marinoff Erin Phillips (14)
2022 (S6) 1st 9–1–0 Premiers Matthew Clarke Chelsea Randall Anne Hatchard Ashleigh Woodland (21)
2022 (S7) 3rd 8–2–0 Preliminary Finals Matthew Clarke Chelsea Randall Anne Hatchard Ashleigh Woodland (13)

^ Denotes the ladder was split into two conferences. Figure refers to the club's overall finishing position in the home-and-away season.

SANFL teamEdit

The Adelaide Crows were granted a license to field a stand-alone reserves men's team in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) in 2014.[92] Prior to this date AFL-listed players at the club were drafted to SANFL clubs, and would play for them when not selected for the AFL team.

Adelaide SANFL honour roll
Season Ladder W-L-D Finals Coach Captain(s) Best and fairest Leading goal kicker
2014 8th 7-11-0 DNQ Heath Younie Ian Callinan Ian Callinan Ian Callinan (27)
2015 7th 8-9-1 DNQ Heath Younie Ian Callinan Ian Callinan James Podsiadly (46)
2016 4th 11-7-0 Preliminary Finals Heath Younie Luke Carey Jonathon Beech Harry Dear (37)
2017 8th 7-11-0 DNQ Ryan O'Keefe Alex Keath & Hugh Greenwood Scott Thompson Troy Menzel (24)
2018 10th 1-17-0 DNQ Ryan O'Keefe Rotating[a] Patrick Wilson Ben Davis (22)
2019 3rd 11-6-1 Preliminary Finals Heath Younie Matthew Wright Patrick Wilson Tyson Stengle (30)
2020 did not field a team due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 8th 5-13-0 DNQ Michael Godden Matthew Wright Kieran Strachan Billy Frampton (24)
2022 2nd 12-6-0 Preliminary Finals Michael Godden Matthew Wright Kieran Strachan Matthew Wright (35)

Club songEdit

The club song is sung to the tune of the US Marines Hymn.

We're the pride of South Australia

And we're known as the Adelaide Crows.

We're courageous, stronger, and faster

And respected by our foes

Admiration of the nation

Our determination shows.

We're the pride of South Australia

We're the mighty Adelaide Crows!

We give our best from coast to coast,

Where the story will be told,

As we fight the rugged battles.

The flag will be our goal.

Our skill and nerve will see us through.

Our commitment ever grows.

We're the pride of South Australia.

We're the mighty Adelaide Crows!

See alsoEdit



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External linksEdit