Forward walks out on Crows in trade shock

Adelaide is set to lose a key piece of its forward line after an out-of-contract player quit the club.

AFL: Bulldogs star Bailey Smith is set to remain with the Bulldogs, while Port Adelaide are firming as the new club for Brodie Grundy.

The 28-year-old told the Crows on Wednesday he wanted to play at a new club next season.

McAdam was recruited by Adelaide as a mature age pre-draft selection before the 2019 season, and is not a free agent.

The 50-gamer will be able to walk through to the pre-season draft if he does not secure a trade, but the Crows said they wanted him to remain at West Lakes and had tabled a new contract offer.

“Adelaide forward Shane McAdam has spoken with the club and told of his intention to consider rival offers,” the club said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Crows say they want to keep Shane McAdam, who booted four goals in their narrow loss to Brisbane in round 22. Picture: Albert Perez / Getty Images

“The Crows have a contract in front of the 28-year-old and would be disappointed if he did not continue his career at West Lakes.

“The club will continue talks with McAdam and his management in the lead up to the upcoming trade period.”

The 183cm forward, who plays with an impressive aerial presence for his size, only managed seven games in 2023, but booted seven goals over rounds 21 and 22 in a burst of form which could attract several suitors.

McAdam played 15 games in each of the previous two seasons, booting 23 and 25 goals.

His decision to depart Adelaide came as experienced midfielder Matt Crouch told SEN he was eager to continue at the club despite the uncertainty of his past two seasons.

Crouch signed a two-year deal on Tuesday after overcoming a long stint at reserves level to star in six consecutive games at the end of the season, averaging 29 disposals and seven clearances to be one of the most influential midfielders in the competition over the final rounds.

“It’s great to secure a deal for the next two years … it was obviously a tough season at times, but the last six weeks I got a bit of a reward for effort – it was good to play some decent footy,” Crouch said on Wednesday.

Matt Crouch says he thoroughly enjoyed playing after breaking back into Adelaide’s side, and was keen to stick with the Crows despite being overlooked for months. Picture: David Mariusz / AAP

“I came in against Melbourne and played OK, and from then on we played alright as a midfield group and the balance was pretty good in there, so hopefully that can continue into next year.

“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t at times, there were times playing SANFL footy … I definitely questioned whether I’d get back to AFL level. At times I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t get back to the level that I wanted to play at, but it worked out in the end.”

Crouch said he had communicated regularly with Crows coach Matthew Nicks on why he was being kept out of the side, with concerns his similarity to accumulator Rory Laird would throw out the balance of Adelaide’s midfield.

“Obviously at times, I was playing some decent footy at the SANFL level, the messaging I was getting from Nicksy and the coaching group was a little bit around the mix in the midfield at the time, with Lairdy being a similar type to me, and then I was lucky enough to get my opportunity when Lairdy was injured,” he said.

I loved my footy when I got out there … I bid my time away in the SANFL but when I got my chance I felt like I was ready and was able to play some decent footy.”

Crouch, 28, said he had handled the pressure of another contract year better than other seasons like 2022, when he had fallen out of favour but no rival clubs came knocking.

“I feel like years previously where I’ve been out of contract, I’ve spoken with my manager a fair bit throughout the season, at times that can distract you,” he said.

“It can be stressful at times, but I felt like I dealt with it better than I have in the past this year, that’s for sure.”

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