Flying high for flag
ADELAIDE great Tony Modra has identified Mitch McGovern as the Crows’ Xfactor in its chase for a premiership as they prepare for Friday night’s preliminary final against Geelong at Adelaide Oval.
Modra, who was part of the flag-winning 1997 squad but injured himself in the preliminary final win against the Bulldogs, could see some similarities between the sides.
He was confident his old club, in which he is still involved, had the goods to make it to the grand final and break the premiership drought.
McGovern’s return to the side after being sidelined for much of the year through injury added another edge.
“Everything’s gone their way this year: they’ve got two home finals and twenty years since the last one,” Modra said.
“There could be two reunions in the same year.
“There are some familiarities. Eddie Betts, Taylor Walker and Tom Lynch in the forward line and they’ve got the X-factor in Mitch McGovern there now.
“McGovern’s stepped up. He showed hints last year but this year he’s really stepped up.
“Him re-signing has been fantastic for us. It was a relief because I played with his father (Andrew) at Fremantle and I was a bit worried Mitch might end up back in WA.
“I think the line-up there is probably stronger than what we had in 1997.”
Modra said the club was close to bullet-proof, having rectified a mid-season slump and learnt to deal with heavy tags being applied to vice-captain Rory Sloane.
But if there was one area of concern, it was the number of contested marks taken — a strength of McGovern’s.
“If anything, contested marks (might be a weakness),” Modra said.
“More contested marks would be handy in the forward line.
“But we’ve got the hunters and gatherers there in Eddie and Charlie Cameron and those guys if it does come to ground.
“But if I were a betting man, which you’re not allowed to be, I’d be backing them.
“They’d definitely been my favourite.”
Modra was at Glenelg Golf Club to promote Golf Australia’s Golf Month in October, during which golf clubs and facilities in South Australia and across the country will throw open their doors and welcome people to take part in a Golf Month activity.
Modra loves a round of golf when he can squeeze it in and plays off a handicap of 10 — he has blown out because football and work has taken up too much of his time.
“With the footy season I’m a bit busy but I’m looking forward to playing a bit more golf after the season,” Modra said.
It was a mini-reunion on the course on Friday with Modra hitting balls with 1997 team-mates Ben Hart and Darren Jarman and getting a few tips from former Australian cricketer Greg Blewett, who is a low-figure single handicapper and plays pennant golf when his cricket coaching commitments allow.