Crows should swoop on Swans and snaffle a Saint
The end of the AFL season is nigh and as the trade period approaches, many players remain unsigned. Interestingly some quality midfielders and former South Australian country footballers have not been signed by their clubs - the Swans and Saints. Given their state of origin, FlowSports have identified four players that must be in the discussion surrounding the Adelaide camp.
Jordan Dawson with 63 games under his belt is an in-form star from Sydney and is clearly in the Crows’ crosshairs. The boy from the Robe Roosters has become a regular in a finals-bound Sydney Swans line-up, averaging 22 plus possessions per game this year. He would be ideal in Adelaide’s defence given Luke Brown’s injuries and the use of Brodie Smith and Rory Laird in midfield, Jordan is a quality ball user off half-back and should be high on the Crows’ 2022 agenda.
George Hewett hails from Port Broughton and is one of four brothers to pull on the local Sea Eagles jumper. The Swans are wary of his talent as a shut down midfielder having previously negated superstars like Dustin Martin. He has played 119 games in six seasons and is a must retain for the Swans, but could the Crows prize him loose? The retirements of Andrew Mackay and link up man Tom Lynch allows cap space for Hewett to come into the Crows’ best 22. The argument could be made that new Swan talents like Errol Gulden and Tom Warner have delayed an obvious long-term option, though the door remains ajar for the Crows to pounce.
Dylan Stephens has played two seasons and 15 games with the Sydney Swans and has yet to be offered a contract tying him to the club in 2022. Presumably Sydney are currently weighing up finals performances and how much they have to pay to retain fellow former South Australians George Hewett and Jordan Dawson. However, given Stevens’ output and opportunities being below expectations and the many Sydney stars that are in front of him, he is not likely to stay on their list in 2022. Stevens comes from Red Cliffs near Mildura in Victoria, but played a lot of footy at Norwood where he was drafted at number five. Like the success of Ben Keays who has become a dominant midfielder since arriving from Brisbane, Stevens, aged 20, if afforded opportunities could really flourish at West Lakes
Crows recruiters have surely considered the prospect of Luke Dunston, as the former South Clare boy could be lured back to his home state. Dunston was brilliant in the second half of the season and had no impact on the Saints missing the finals. Dunston is 26 and has 8 years experience on an AFL list and would fill a role similar to Matt Crouch; getting first possession while providing some grunt to a Crows midfield that is often overrun.
Coming home after a number of seasons interstate can work well for players as they rekindle with family and their country club of origin and the above four players, while all unlikely to be at Adelaide in 2022, should at least be in the conversation.