The decade is coming to a close, so to celebrate we look at the Top Ten Crows of the 2010’s. For this list, players are chosen based on their time at the Crows alone and judged only on their career through this decade, which in all cases is longer than four seasons. With so many players to choose from, and so many of them modern stars that are still playing today, it was dreadfullt difficult to nail down just ten, but here they are.
10. Richard Douglas
As a Crows fan, it hurt putting Douglas this low on the list, but the calibre above him is just so strong. Newly gone from the tricolours, Dougy is an absolute hero and one of the AFL’s great clubmen. Douglas could be a midfield bull whilst also playing a versatile role that saw him play up forward later in his career with an accurate finish in front of the sticks. Douglas was a fan favourite and a high-class footballer in all respects.
9. Nathan van Berlo
Another much loved player around the club, Nathan van Berlo was an excellent skipper with great leadership qualities and good footy smarts. VB’s retirement in 2016 was an emotional one for a lot of supporters who had seen his whole career unfold before them. Another 200 gamer who would have got himself a game in anyone’s side at his best.
8. Daniel Talia
Daniel Talia is one of my absolute favourite footballers running around today. Although he doesn’t rack up the possessions or kick big bags every week, he is one hundred percent reliable and does his job week in week out. No matter the task, often a daunting tall forward, Talia is on them, controlling the play and his opponent. For me, Talia is one of the league’s most underrated players and was well deserving of his 2012 Rising Star Award.
7. Sam Jacobs
Another victim of the Crow’s recent cleanout is big Sam ‘Sauce’ Jacobs. A South Aussie icon, Sauce is everywhere on the field, and holds the rightful reputation as the AFL’s top tap man. Jacobs has a great eye for the contest and an excellent footy brain as well as passion and skill, a fantastic resume for any player.
6. Scott Thompson
Go pick up a dictionary and look up the word ‘dedication’, there’s a picture of Scott Thompson, biceps and all. One of the game’s great possession getters and best hard-nuts, Thompson was unbeatable in the contest. He knew how to hit, and he could get hit and remain unfazed, such was the beast he was. There aren’t many better contested ball winners to have graced a footy field than this man.
5. Taylor Walker
Even after the amount of scrutiny Tex Walker has received over his brilliant career he still carries himself excellently. Tex has 426 goals in less than 200 games played and has been AFLPA Captain of the Year not once but twice. His leadership has been questioned over the last two seasons and although yes, some criticism is warranted, Walker was a great captain. Tex has the ability to lift his entire team to another level and he himself has so much to give on the field.
4. Patrick Dangerfield
It might seem like a controversial choice having the only Brownlow Medallist on this list at number four, but in reality, Dangerfield was a very good player at Adelaide, but maybe not as iconic as he is now at Geelong. Dangerfield’s time at Adelaide was poor to start before he suddenly staked his claim as one of the league’s top players. He was and is an excellent footballer who over time refined himself and enjoyed his best footy at the Crows in his last season there in 2015.
3. Eddie Betts
This list could not have been complete without the miracle man himself, Eddie Betts. Betts kicked 310 goals in just six seasons at the Crows and was the club’s leading goal kicker in four of those seasons. Betts has also won Goal of the Year four times, three of them at Adelaide, more than any other player. Now as Betts enters the very end of his career, Adelaide will see it as an honour to have had him entertain his crowd and his people that he loves, and they love him in return.
2. Rory Sloane
Currently it looks like Sloane will stand alone as Crow’s skipper in 2020, a role he knows he can excel at. With excellent foot skills, a great footy brain and toughness in excess, Sloane is the ultimate footballer who has staked his claim for the game’s top honour time and time again. His relentless courage at the contest and poise with ball in hand will make him a fan favourite forever. The man is untouchable for most current players who can only dream of one day playing like this guy, a man who’s currently inspiring the next generation of young Crows fanatics.
1. Ben Rutten
This is one guy who I’d just about lock in for the AFL team of the decade, let alone just an Adelaide one. Rutten retired in 2014 much to fan’s dismay as it looked like it would create the biggest hole in an AFL defence ever seen. Not only did he mentor his successor Daniel Talia perfectly, but he showed the footy world how to love defence. Although it’s never been the most exciting aspect of our great game, Rutten proved that defenders could be poster heroes too. Rutten was beyond consistent and for a long time he was the toughest match up any forward could have come up against. Now he’s set to move into coaching and I think he’ll be brilliant at it quite frankly. Thanks for the memories Truck, you were always an absolute star.
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