Adelaide weren’t offered much chance to succeed ahead of their opening season.
They had access to talent across South Australia and the Northern Territory as well as crafty free agent signings. This combination helped the team stamp their authority in the competition.
Unlike Brisbane, the Crows couldn’t remain undefeated, losing games late in the season to Lions and Melbourne. A 24-point win over Collingwood in the final round saw them clinch a Grand Final berth, where they clinched the inaugural AFL Women’s Premiership due to the tactical genuineness of head coach Bec Goddard.
Erin Phillips earmarked herself as the preeminent talent in women’s football; going from free agent signing to the best and an unstoppable player – winning every award the league had to offer.
Little has changed from the dominant Adelaide roster, as the club shied away from trading with other teams and instead opting to refurbish their list through the draft. Of the eight players delisted at season’s end, only Heather Anderson and Kelly Gibson, now with Fremantle, featured in all eight games for the team.
Through the draft, Adelaide managed to secure some of the best U18 talents on offer, including Jessica Allan and Jasmyn Hewitt along with former Adelaide United W-League players Marijana Rajcic and Ruth Wallace.
Adelaide boasts perhaps the most well-balanced side in the competition and having kept most of their playing list intact, it’s hard to imagine the Crows won't be among the top again this season.
The Crows’ game-plan combines ruthless defensive structures and tireless two-way running – a combination seemingly only beaten by a higher work rate and luck.
A Grand Final rematch in the opening round against Brisbane looms as the team’s immediate challenge, while only three games in South Australia ensures a tough fixture in the Crow’s title defence.