Top draft picks impress Crows coach Pyke

Crows coach Don Pyke is all smiles at training. Picture Sarah Reed

TOP Crows draft picks Jordan Gallucci and Myles Poholke are near the top of the list of those who will be showcased and analysed during Adelaide’s three practice matches as the club prepares for its first JLT Series match against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Coach Don Pyke has been impressed by the pair — taken at No. 15 and No. 44 respectively at last year’s national draft — and has bunched them up with emerging players Harrison Wigg, Curtley Hampton and Cam Ellis-Yolmen as compulsive viewing during the club’s final phase of the pre-season.

Pyke’s call comes as he also outlined Adelaide’s aims for the trial games, which include:

MAKING sure the senior players get enough game time to be ready for Round 1;

HAVING a look at “the possibles” who are on the fringe, and;

ENSURING all players are clear on the style that Pyke wants the team to play in 2017.

Gallucci and Poholke are both players who could add to the Crows midfield, which will go into the practice matches without vice-captain and club champion Rory Sloane and Brad Crouch, who are sidelined because of injuries.

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Of the draft picks, they are the most likely to have an impact during the home-and-away season.

“Out of the six draftees we brought in, some of those are starting to show some good sign,” Pyke said.

“Jordan Gallucci and Myles Poholke are our highest draft picks and we’ll be keen to have a look at them at some stage through the JLT.

“The other guys are a little bit more developmental and they’ll take a little bit more time to come on.

“And there’s a number of guys who are second or third-year who haven’t had opportunities: Harrison Wigg, Curtley Hampton, Cam Ellis-Yolmen didn’t play a lot last year.

“Dean Gore and all of these guys can come in and play through the midfield and through half-forward and half-back. Most of those guys we’d like to have a look at, at some point.”

Pyke spoke of a range of areas which he would monitor during the practice matches.

On top of the aforementioned, there was the experimentation with players in new spots — among them Charlie Cameron to a wing and Richard Douglas to the backline.

“We’ll look at the JLT Series in totality as to what we ideally want out of the three games,” Pyke said on the Crows’ website. “It’s a combination of things. We want to make sure, obviously, that our senior players are ready to go come Round 1 and that we get enough game time into them.

“We want to give opportunities to guys who have trained well throughout the pre-season and guys who played really well last year in our SANFL team and didn’t get opportunities last year, given the (low) numbers we played last year.

“And the third thing is that we want to continue to work on our style of playing and make sure that some of the areas we’ve worked on and focused on — that we’re starting to see some of those.”