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Brown the latest Crow to sign on

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Luke Brown of the Crows in action during the 2014 AFL round 06 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Adelaide Crows at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 27, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Adelaide defender Luke Brown has signed a new contract

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LUKE Brown says Eddie Betts has been a key to his strong 2015 form, helping the Adelaide defender earn a two-year contract extension.

Brown became the fourth Crow in two weeks to re-commit at West Lakes, joining Rory Sloane, Richard Douglas and Rory Laird.

The 22-year-old rated Betts as the AFL's leading small forward and said training against him meant he entered games perfectly prepared. 

"He's pretty much – in pre-season – who I play on the most and it's like you play an extra game each week on the best small forward in the competition," Brown said.

"It gives me great confidence going into each week."

Brown has matured since taking over as the Crows' lockdown player from Michael Doughty in 2013, and has conceded just seven goals this season playing on the opposition's most damaging small forward each week.

He has played 57 games since his 2012 debut and has developed the confidence required to add an offensive side to his game.

Adelaide's defence was seen as an Achilles heel in the lead up to the season but Daniel Talia, Kyle Cheney, Brown and Laird have all impressed.

Given Talia is the club's most experienced defender with just 87 games to his name, Brown sees big things ahead for the backline.

"It is a bit exciting, especially with the group coming up underneath as well; Jake Lever … Kyle Hartigan's developing really well and Cheney came into the group and gave a lot," he said.

"So we're really looking forward to what we have to offer as a group and back six."

Brown leads Adelaide for disposal efficiency at 81.8 per cent this year, closely followed by Laird (81.1). 

He said his skill level was one of his biggest assets, although coach Phil Walsh also praised his off-field work ethic.

Walsh said Brown's professionalism meant he was well suited to playing in his best 22. 

“Luke has been one of our most consistent performers,” he said. 

“Each week he is tasked with shutting down the opposition’s most dangerous small forward – a job he has down with great success this year. 

“We are creating a team-first environment and Luke’s attitude and professionalism make him a perfect fit.”

Brown also said that midfielder Brad Crouch could be a chance to play his first senior game for the season against the Lions on Saturday.

The 2013 Rising Star runner-up has logged just 11 games in the past two years, and is yet to feature this season because of a broken foot.

But Crouch is tipped to return for Adelaide's away trip to Brisbane.

 

"He (Crouch) trained well ... as long as he doesn't pull up sore during the next couple of days, I'm sure he'll play this week," Brown said.