In a nutshell

Entered the season with high expectations, but tailed off dramatically after the bye, with just two wins in their last nine games, to be one of the biggest disappointments.

What we said in the pre-season

Every reporter had the Crows in the finals. The majority predicted them to be in the top four, with a couple even tipping them to win the premiership – a far cry from their 11th-placed finish. Injured-plagued midfielder Brad Crouch fulfilled the promise of a strong summer with an impressive season, finishing fifth in the League for disposals with 666, after missing all of last year with groin soreness.

What worked 

Talia turns back the clock
Key defender Daniel Talia had a superb individual season, conceding less than a goal per game, to be named in the 40-man All Australian squad.

Solution found to injury crisis
The Crows successfully reduced the amount of soft-tissue injuries that crippled their 2018 campaign by making changes to their high-performance program.

O'Brien steps up in Sauce's absence
Ruckman Reilly O'Brien showed he can compete at the elite level, making the most of his opportunity when long-time No.1 big man Sam Jacobs was injured.

What failed

Game style crumbled under pressure
The Crows reverted to slow ball movement in the second half of the season. It was ineffective and allowed the opposition to set up defensively.

Veterans fell off a cliff
Experienced quartet Eddie Betts, Bryce Gibbs, Josh Jenkins and Richard Douglas were all dropped at various stages of the season.

Youngsters not given chance to develop
Crows supporters didn't see enough of Darcy Fogarty, Chayce Jones, Jordan Gallucci, Elliott Himmelberg, Ned McHenry and Tyson Stengle.

Overall rating


A major disappointment given the high expectations going into the season.

The coach

Don Pyke's future at the Crows will depend on the findings of an external review given the disappointing season. He's contracted for two more years, but the Crows have shown in the past they're willing to part ways with coaches under contract. 


Brad Crouch: One of the shining lights in a bleak season. The 25-year-old midfielder was fifth in the League for disposals (666), averaging 30.3 per game. A huge comeback after missing all of last year with groin soreness.

Surprise packet

Reilly O'Brien: Played two games in 2016 before replacing an injured Sam Jacobs in round three. The 24-year-old ruckman took his chance with both hands to play 18 games and earn a two-year contract extension.

Get excited

Darcy Fogarty: The second-year forward had to wait until round 20 for his opportunity, but impressed with eight goals in his four games. Another pre-season to build his tank should have the 19-year-old in great shape for 2020.


Josh Jenkins: From third in the best and fairest in 2018, to out of the side and seemingly out of the club a year later. The key forward appears destined to find a new home during the NAB AFL Trade Period, despite having two years to run on his contract.

Best win

Round 12: Adelaide 12.10 (82) d Greater Western Sydney 9.7 (61)

Off the back of their dramatic last-quarter comeback against Melbourne in Darwin, the Crows stormed home for the second week in a row with the last four goals of the game to stun the then-second placed Giants.

Best individual performance 

Brad Crouch. Round 13 v Richmond

The midfielder couldn't be stopped in the 33-point win against the Tigers, racking up 43 disposals (17 contested), 11 clearances and six inside 50s.

Low point

The Crows kicked just 1.3 while conceding 9.9 in the second half of their 57-point flogging at the hands of crosstown rivals Port Adelaide in round 16.

The big questions 

Will Don Pyke coach the Crows in 2020?

How drastic will the list changes be during the off-season?

Is the club in full rebuild mode, or can they still be a finals contender next season?

Season in a movie title

Titanic. Everything looks rosy midway through the journey before they encounter a massive iceberg and start to sink.

Who's done?

Retirements: Andy Otten

Delistings: Richard Douglas

Unsigned free agents: Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Sam Jacobs, David Mackay

How should they approach trade and draft period? 

The Crows should aggressively overhaul their list by moving on older players and bringing in young talent. Carlton's first-round pick, currently third overall, will assist in the rebuild.

Early call for 2020

Depends heavily on the results of the external review and what happens during the trade period. The Crows could decide to go into full rebuild mode, which might result in short-term pain to get games into young players.