The Adelaide Crows have reported good news, as they have secured Matt Crouch to a long-term deal that will keep him with the club until the end of the 2021 AFL season.
Good on you, Crows. Good on you, Crouch.
Now, go out there and win a flag, rather than leading the league all season, only to collapse in the finals.
Crouch had been set to become a free agent at the end of 2018, and it can be said with relative certainty that any AFL club with cap room and money to spend would have been eager to lock up the All-Australian midfielder.
The three-year extension for the 22-year-old Crouch was sensational in 2017 and was rightfully recognised as the club’s best and fairest. He established a new AFL high water mark for disposals last season, with 825. He had a career-high 45 against the West Coast Eagles in Round 23. That is West Coast, not Gold Coast; let us be clear on that.
Matt and his brother Brad will be on the Crows side for the foreseeable future after Brad signed a four-year extension in August of 2017.
The only midfielder who still remains uncertain is Rory Sloane. His deal expires following the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership competition, so if Adelaide can get something done with Sloane, they will continue to have the best midfield in the league by far. If Sloane were to opt for a better deal elsewhere, the Crows are certain to get a lot of value, so the senior list for the team seems secure, so long as they can get over the hump that saw them dominate home-and-away play over the past two seasons, only to see the flag slip away when they were not up to the task of playing in front of hostile crowds at the MCG.
Adelaide list manager Justin Reid said Crouch had developed into “one of the premier midfielders in the competition. He has not only bought into but led the way with the club’s team-first culture and helped create a really positive environment,” Reid said of Crouch.