ADELAIDE ranks as clearly the youngest and least experienced team in the AFL this season as coach Matthew Nicks steers the Crows through his third year in charge.

The Crows won three of their first six games but have lost their past three matches, including last week’s solid performance against a red-hot Brisbane at Adelaide Oval.

But the demographics of the competition so far this season shows that Adelaide ranks 18th for average games played per team (63 games) and the youngest side on average across the year at 24.1 years.

The Crows went on an aggressive rebuild after making the 2017 Grand Final and have used 11 top-30 picks over the past four drafts.

Shane McAdam, Josh Rachele and Jackson Hately after Adelaide's win over the Western Bulldogs in round six, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Bombers' woes to the season can be given some context by them being the second youngest and least experienced side of the year, although interestingly three of the top five teams on the ladder – Sydney, Carlton and Fremantle – rank among the six youngest sides in the AFL in encouraging signs that they can extend their form into future years. 

Fremantle and Carlton also sit in the bottom four for games played, with the Dockers ranking 16th for average games played (72) and Carlton next at 75 games.

Geelong has been by some way the most experienced and oldest side in the AFL this year, putting out a team with an average age of 27.6 years and having played on average 142 games. They are on average a year older than the next oldest side (Richmond at 26.6 years).

Geelong leaves the field after its loss to Hawthorn in round five, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

The data takes into account all of the games across the first nine rounds and includes the medical substitute regardless of whether they took the field or not.

Hopes for a Melbourne dynasty are only furthered by looking at their demographics. With one flag already in the bag, the Demons rank 10th for average age of their team at 25.1 years and ninth for average games played (93). 

Brisbane's position as perhaps Melbourne's greatest challenger for the premiership this year is backed up in the data, too, with the Lions ranking as the third most mature side so far this season in age (26.3 years) and games played (105).

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2022 average age per team

27.6 years – Geelong
26.6 – Richmond
26.3 – Brisbane
26 – West Coast
25.8 – St Kilda
25.7 – Collingwood
25.6 – Western Bulldogs
25.6 – Port Adelaide
25.5 – Greater Western Sydney
25.1 – Melbourne
25.1 – Gold Coast
24.9 – Sydney
24.9 – Carlton
24.7 – Fremantle
24.6 – North Melbourne 
24.6 – Hawthorn
24.5 – Essendon
24.1 – Adelaide

2022 average games played per team

142 games – Geelong
112 – Richmond
105 – Brisbane 
100 – Port Adelaide
96 – Sydney
96 – Collingwood
94 – West Coast
93 – Western Bulldogs
93 – Melbourne
89 – Greater Western Sydney
86 – St Kilda
80 – Gold Coast
79 – Hawthorn
75 – North Melbourne
75 – Carlton
72 – Fremantle
71 – Essendon
63 – Adelaide