SEE YOU FRIDAY
Danger’s date with mates
ADELAIDE’S players insists Friday night’s preliminary final is about them – and not Patrick Dangerfield – as the Crows note the task of ending a 19-year AFL grand final drought is no laughing matter.
Crows forward Tom Lynch has stepped away from the almost-scripted banter between fellow Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins and Dangerfield to highlight the real focus on West Lakes. “I’m more interested in getting myself to a grand final than worrying about stopping someone else being there,” Lynch told.
“It is not very often you get the prospect of being one game from the grand final, so a preliminary final makes you excited — and gives you goosebumps. So the prospect of us getting there is more important than what happens at any other club or any other player.”
Jenkins last week opened the off-field barbs with Dangerfield — once kept on so- cial media — to tell Fox Sports: “If he marches into town with his Geelong teammates, there’ll be nothing better than beating him and reminding him that perhaps he should have stuck around with us and he could be a Brownlow medallist and a premiership player.”
But Lynch reveals the strong ties — and respect — Dangerfield still commands with so many Crows players, after playing 154 AFL games at Adelaide, makes a mockery of the mocking game between Jenkins and the Geelong Brownlow medallist.
“Patrick was a fantastic player for our club,” said Lynch, to underline the true rapport between the Crows and Dangerfield.
“And he was a champion of our club (with the Malcolm Blight Medal in 2015). He is a player at another club now and hopefully he has great success, but only if we don’t get it.”
Dangerfield this week will return to Adelaide for his third match against his former Crows teammates — after a win last season and a loss in Friday night football on July 21.
And the prime-time midfielder already is absorbing the heat, not only for his jibes with Jenkins (above) but also his remark in the post-game with Channel 7 that appears as a dig at the city of Adelaide.
Cast in the role of “Roaming Brian”, after Channel 7 commentator Brian Taylor handed Dangerfield the microphone to interview teammate Steven Motlop, Dangerfield said of Adelaide the city: “Yeah, it’s not that good, but thanks for joining us.”
Dangerfield’s rematch with his former Adelaide teammates headlines the preliminary finals — and grand final — putting players who were once mates in the roles of heated foes.
There is Dangerfield with Adelaide and in the Greater Western Sydney-Richmond preliminary final Brett Delidio plays his 250th AFL game by facing his former Tigers teammates as they chase their club’s first grand final since 1982.
The grand final pairings could have Adelaide facing former Crows defender and Giants captain Phil Davis — or Geelong dealing with club hero Steve Johnson as he completes his career in the GWS attack.
Dangerfield, like Lynch, recognises there is a moremeaningful theme to the preliminary final than hammed up rivalries between the players.
“I don’t know if it’s extra spice,” said Dangerfield of the battle with the Crows. “It doesn’t matter who our opponent is — we’re going (to the preliminary final) to win. We’ve got two games to go.”
TURNAROUND: Darcy Lang arrives at Geelong’s recovery session at Kardinia Park.