Challenges keep coming for Crows coach

Crows coach Matthew Nicks faces a challenging week ahead with their 2021 list to consider.
Crows coach Matthew Nicks faces a challenging week ahead with their 2021 list to consider.

After collecting Adelaide's first AFL wooden spoon, coach Matthew Nicks faces more challenges.

Nicks' mind is turning to how best strengthen a club which won just three games.

But his thinking is clouded by factors beyond his control.

Nicks will hold exit meetings with players on Wednesday and Thursday.

But the AFL is yet to detail expected cuts to next year's list sizes.

"It's like the entire season - be prepared to be flexible because we don't have information," Nicks said after Adelaide's season ended with a 44-point loss to Richmond on Saturday night.

"And it makes it really tough for us.

"This next week, our players will exit ... and they will be conversations around 'unfortunately at this point it's not a lock on what we actually are doing in 2021'.

"We would like to give them as much information as we can on what to expect going forward, but it's a challenging time."

Nicks will talk with club champion and free agent Brad Crouch, who is being chased by other clubs, but doesn't expect a definitive answer.

That could be delayed until the trade period, which is followed by the national draft when Adelaide holds its strongest-ever hand: pick No.1 plus five other selections in the top 50.

But Nicks hasn't got the usual form guide: underage competitions weren't staged this year because of COVID-19.

"Unfortunately we haven't had the 12 months to watch some of the Victorian boys play - and there's a fair bit of talent that comes out of that space," Nicks said.

"It's a matter of us making sure we have got our own research done correctly."

Nicks said he would target midfielders, but also noted some elite tall players in the draft pool.

"This year is an interesting one in the draft, there's some real key position players that look like they're going to go pretty early," he said.

"So we have to look at that, where our picks come in, what sort of player looks like going around that mark.

"And we will continue to add to all our areas but we will always have a look in that midfield zone."

Australian Associated Press