THE DECISION to send Bernie Vince packing wasn't easy, Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson says, but it was necessary.

Stripped of their picks from the opening two rounds of the NAB AFL Draft for their role in the Kurt Tippett salary cap breach, the Crows desperately wanted to trade their way back in.

Vince was traded to Melbourne last month for pick No.23, securing Adelaide a second-round pick in a deal that left the 2009 club champion feeling unwanted and "pushed out of the door" by the Crows.

While admitting that losing a player as popular and as talented as Vince was a backward step, Sanderson insisted it was an important part of the club's strategy to improve its list.

"Bernie's one of our fans' favourites. Our players absolutely adore him, I loved coaching him, I have a great relationship with Bernie," Sanderson said.

"Any time you have to let a club champion out of your footy club it's going to be a step back ... we wish Bernie all the best with his next stage in his career and I'm sure he's going to have a fantastic time at Melbourne.

"We couldn't go two years without picks in the first two rounds. You have to keep bringing young talent into your football team."

Adelaide will be measured in its strategy when it comes to selecting a player at No.23 and won't simply take the best player available, regardless of his type.

Instead, the Crows will balance their needs with what's on offer, with Sanderson hoping a key position prospect could still be up for grabs.

However, the coach conceded that whoever the club drafts, he won't be able to immediately fill Vince's boots.

The onus for picking up that slack will fall on several of the side's youngsters with up to 30 games under their belts.

"That player that we get at pick 23's not going to step in and be better than Bernie in the first season, but what we need is that next group of young players to really stand up," he said.

"We were really excited with what we saw from guys like (Sam) Kerridge and (Mitch) Grigg and (Jarryd) Lyons. There's an opportunity now for those boys to jump up and play footy for us full-time."

Speaking on Adelaide's first official day of pre-season training, Sanderson was adamant the mistakes made last summer wouldn't be repeated.

He had previously admitted the club didn't push the players hard enough last pre-season, resulting in a disappointing 2013.

"Every pre-season sort of evolves from the previous one and we'll certainly make adjustments to what we did last year," he said.

"We're getting better and better at educating ourselves about what players need and what coaches need to get the best out of players before each season.

"Obviously when you don't make the finals you're very motivated to make sure you get away to a really good start."

Taylor Walker was one of the club's 1-4 year players training on Wednesday after recently returning from his overseas knee rehabilitation camp.
Sanderson was thrilled with the star forward'sprogress, but emphasised he wouldn't be pushed into an early return.
"He looks fantastic, he looks really fit but at the same time too we're not going to rush him back," he said.
"His rehab's gone great, his trip to America was really beneficial and we're looking for a really solid start to the season for him."

Twitter: @AFL_Harry