Crows to blood another AFL debutant

·2-min read

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks is challenging his players to prove their first-up win isn't a fluke as he bloods another AFL debutant.

Defender Nick Murray will make his AFL debut against Sydney on Saturday after being promoted to the Crows' list just three weeks ago.

The 20-year-old will replace Jake Kelly, who was concussed in last week's victory against Geelong in an incident which resulted in a three-game ban for Patrick Dangerfield.

Nicks refused to comment specifically on Dangerfield's suspension but broadly expressed empathy for players making split-second decisions.

"It's not as clear as what it looks on the video when you slow it down," he told reporters on Thursday.

"It's a challenge for the player ... and there's an understanding that we are there to protect each other and look after each other.

"And then you have a coach yelling at you as well saying 'put pressure on the opposition and bring heat' so I feel for the players.

"It's hard but I also think most players nowadays in that scenario will look at tackling."

Kelly has resumed training but will be sidelined for the mandatory 12 days after being concussed while the Crows also lost Luke Brown (Achilles) and Mitch Hinge (dislocated shoulder).

Brown's half-back slot will be taken by veteran David Mackay with Hinge, an injury substitute last weekend, likely to be replaced by untried Josh Worrell for the SCG fixture against the Swans.

The Crows, last year's wooden-spooners, banked a stirring season-opening win against last season's beaten grand-finalists Geelong last Saturday.

But Nicks urged his team to show that result wasn't the proverbial flash in the pan.

"You have to enjoy a win like that, you have to embrace that we played at the level we want to play at," Nicks said.

"We saw the brand of footy that we want to put out week-in, week-out.

"That is what we are after, consistency of performance.

"We have played one and, yep, we enjoyed that win ... now we have got to back it up.

"And that will be a challenge with a young group going forward, is that consistency."