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Young Crows star as coach Don Pyke says age is irrelevant

Harry Thring  February 21, 2016 6:22 PM

'Age is irrelevant' as Pyke ponders best 22 Don Pyke fronts the media after his side's match against the Eagles

ADELAIDE coach Don Pyke says age is irrelevant as he ponders the make-up of his best 22 ahead of round one.

That’s good news for Crows youngsters Wayne Milera and Dean Gore who both impressed in the Crows’ 100-point win over West Coast in their NAB Challenge clash at Unley Oval on Sunday.

Milera in particular stood out, showing great composure, balance and skill to win 12 possessions and two goal assists.

Click here for full match coverage and stats

Pyke said if players without AFL experience continued to raise eyebrows they could find themselves in the club's senior side early this season.

"We had four guys who played their first game for the footy club in Dean Gore, Wayne Milera, Harry Dear and Mitch McGovern ... it was great for them to get a taste of it and I thought they showed some signs of why we got them to the footy club," Pyke said.

"Wayne obviously played senior footy last year at Central [District] so he benefits from having played in open company previously.

"We're going to be really keen and interested to see his progress.

"Age is irrelevant, if you're in the best 22 you'll play and Wayne gives himself if a chance if he continues to perform and play well."

The Eagles flew a young line-up across to Adelaide for the sides' opening NAB Challenge clash and it was slaughtered by a seasoned Crows unit.

Adelaide's ball movement was impressive, its forward line fired and some new players impressed but Pyke was disappointed by its finish - West Coast kicked the final three goals.


"We set a really high standard there for two-and-a-half quarters and I thought just at the end we went away from the things we'd been doing well," he said.

"There's some learning in that for us."

Stand-in Eagles coach Justin Longmuir said the game acted as an important opportunity for the club's young players to test themselves against genuine AFL opposition.

He said the club would now look to field its strongest side in the final two NAB Challenge games in the lead-up to round one.

"They [were able] to measure themselves against a really solid AFL team and that's what Adelaide are," Longmuir said.

"We came in wanting to give them opportunity and that's what they got.

"We plan to play our best side in the last two weeks of the pre-season so I think there will be 14 or 15 guys who will come into that side."

Adelaide will look to send a much younger side to Western Australia next week to take on Fremantle.