ADELAIDE midfielder Matt Crouch has pinpointed Sydney Swan Josh Kennedy as the player he is most looking forward to lining up on next Saturday night at Adelaide Oval.
Crouch is coming off a terrific start to the year, averaging 25 disposals a game and helping fill the void Patrick Dangerfield left after moving to Geelong.
He played 17 games last year but barring injury, the 20-year-old is unlikely to play reserves football in 2016.
His hardness around the stoppages has proved pivotal and will be necessary against a Swans midfield featuring Kennedy, Kieren Jack and Luke Parker, among others.
"I think Josh Kennedy is a pretty good stoppage player, so I like watching him play," Crouch said.
The Crows made the second week of finals last year but many experts tipped them to fall out of the top eight after losing Dangerfield.
Instead, Adelaide sits 2-1, and after a couple of exhilarating wins against Port Adelaide and Richmond, looks like it can perhaps push for a top-four spot.
Crouch said the media discussion about losing Dangerfield being a loss the Crows could not recover from may have lit a fire under some of his teammates.
"It can motivate people in different ways. As a midfield group, we're confident in our ability to get the job done," he said.
There were aspects of the 36-point win against Richmond he was not overly happy with though.
"Ideally we would have liked to win clearances and get the ball in our half," he said.
"So far this year we've been pretty good in that area, although (on Saturday) we could've been a bit better at times."
He pointed to his running ability as being the key to his improvement. Crouch was drafted at No. 23 in 2013 but it is only this season that he has cemented a spot in the best team.
The rotations cap fell from 120 to 90 in the past off-season, forcing Crouch to improve his aerobic capacity.
"For me, it's probably my fitness base that improved over the pre-season. I feel like I'm running out the game pretty well.
"With the rotations, it can be a bit harder, but the pre-season we had was pretty tough so I'm confident I can run out the game really well."
Crouch had his right groin iced after the game but said there were no concerns after copping a knock against the Tigers.
Matt's older brother, Brad, has also had an excellent start to the season but missed the Richmond clash with hamstring tightness. Whether he plays against the Swans is a mystery.
"Not sure at this stage. I think he's got to get through a bit of training this week and see how it feels," the younger sibling said.