Adelaide’s Crouch challenged by coach

Amid an AFL season spent in the rough, Adelaide midfielder Matt Crouch is being challenged by his coach to find his “one-wood”.

Crouch’s output is being torched by pundits questioning his minimal impact from his possessions.

Crouch, who was dropped in round four, averages almost 25 disposals a game but ranks 151st in the competition for metres gained.

Winless Crows coach Matthew Nicks this week held in-depth meetings with the 2017 All Australian and club champion.

“We didn’t really go to a metres gained with Matt,” Nicks told reporters on Friday.

“His one-wood is his ability in and around stoppage. And that is the area he is working on at the moment.

“He finds himself in some unusual positions with the footy (but) we’re talking about what he can bring, what is his weapon – and he has got an amazing ability to win ball in stoppage.”

Crouch averages two inside 50s a game and has recorded only one goal assist this season while being criticised for so-called cheap disposals.

Commentators Nick Riewoldt and Jason Dunstall both savaged Crouch in last week’s loss to St Kilda when his eight kicks and 18 handballs resulted in only 133 metres gained.

“He has done a fair bit of work this week, we sat down and watched a bit of vision,” Nicks said.

“He is the ultimate professional so I have no doubt he will fight back.

“We will get him straight back in there this week against a slightly lighter midfield, we really want him to go to work … (and) bring that weapon back.”

Nicks has confirmed at least one change for Sunday’s Adelaide Oval fixture against Essendon, recalling Lachlan Murphy and resting first-year small forward Ned McHenry.

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