EMERGING Adelaide backman Jake Lever is looking forward to watching the club's new defensive speed demons Curtly Hampton and Paul Seedsman in the NAB Challenge, as the pair eye off round one selection.
Targeting leg speed, the Crows recruited Seedsman and Hampton last October and both have drawn praise from teammates over the pre-season.
Hampton recently said he'd worked harder from the end of the 2015 season to the start of the 2016 pre-season than in any previous off-season with his sights firmly set on a steady place in the Crows' back six.
Competition on Adelaide's half-back line will be tight early in the season with Brodie Smith, Rory Laird and Ricky Henderson also proven defensive runners - not to mention the imminent return of Matthew Jaensch from a knee reconstruction.
Seedsman and Hampton have looked impressive at training but Lever said it would be in the club's three NAB Challenge outings against West Coast (February 21), Fremantle (February 28) and Gold Coast (March11) where their true claims for an immediate senior start would be made.
"Seeds and Curtly, they're both really quick blokes… the NAB [Challenge] it's a fantastic opportunity for them to put their cases up for selection," Lever said.
"Through training they've been really good, completing most sessions.
"It's just about games now, getting through NAB [Challenge] and pushing their claims for round one."
Having surpassed his own expectations in 2015 by playing 12 senior games, Lever's failure to play finals football has driven him through a tough summer under new coach Don Pyke.
Despite his status as a first-year key defender, the 19-year-old's maturity in 2015 was incredible.
Lever said that although Daniel Talia remained the spiritual leader in defence, he was keen to take on more responsibility in his second season.
"Tarls is a fantastic leader down there…even though he's young he really took hold of the backline [last year]," he said.
"It's something that I would like to learn off him; leadership is something that I think I could provide for the team.
"But this year one of the focuses for us is just everyone's a leader.
"You can't rely on Tarls to do it every week, we always have to help him out."