Marijana Rajcic before the S7 AFLW First Preliminary Final between Brisbane and Adelaide at Metricon Stadium, November 18, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

NEXT weekend will be Marijana Rajcic's last in charge of Adelaide's backline, after which she will go on maternity leave.

But the Crows have a ready-made replacement – who's already a familiar face around the club – in AFL player Brodie Smith.

Former player Rajcic announced her pregnancy with partner and current club captain Chelsea Randall in April, having retired after last season.

Smith, 31, has played 247 games for the Crows since his debut in 2011, and he will take the reins after the round seven clash with the Western Bulldogs.

Brodie Smith after the round 5 match between Adelaide and Carlton at Adelaide Oval on April 13, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

He has previously worked with South Australia's under-18 boys' side while rehabbing a torn ACL.

"We’ve had two of our most experienced defenders in Sarah Allan and Najwa Allen spend time on the sidelines due to injury, but our backline has continued to stand up for us," Adelaide head of women's football Phil Harper said.

"Our young defenders have shown great improvement across the first five games and credit to 'MJ' for overseeing that.

"It’s a very exciting time for both MJ and 'Chels' and we can’t wait to watch them both embark on this new chapter.

Marijana Rajcic and Chelsea Randall after the AFLW Grand Final between Adelaide and Melbourne at Adelaide Oval, April 09, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"We think [Smith] is the great person to temporarily fill this AFLW role and we all look forward to having him help maintain our standing as a strong defensive unit."

The Crows are a strong chance to regain Najwa Allen (hamstring) for this weekend's top-of-the-table battle with Melbourne, with the rebound defender needing to get through training unscathed after three games on the sidelines.