Crows, Tigers put final touches on GF prep

Adelaide and Richmond will put the finishing touches on the their AFL grand final preparations when they hit the training field for the last time.


On Thursday evening the grand final combatants named unchanged line-ups for the clash at the MCG.

The Crows, who arrived in Melbourne on Thursday afternoon, will have a light training run behind closed doors at the MCG on Friday morning.

Next door at Punt Road Oval, the Tigers will train in front of a packed house with around 5000 fans expected to turn out.

The senior coaches and captains will then speak to the media for one last time before both teams take part in the annual grand final parade.

“September (in Melbourne) is wonderful … it is so hard to make it to finals that it really should be a celebration,” Damien Hardwick said on the Nine Network of his side’s approach to a huge few weeks in the spotlight.

“That’s what I wanted our players to understand.

“Its special and I want our players to enjoy it – you never know when you’re going to be back – so our players have embraced it.”

Both teams have enjoyed settled sides during the finals series and it came as no surprise when their coaches stuck with their preliminary final-winning line-ups.

There had been speculation Crows midfielder Hugh Greenwood is carrying a sore calf, but he kept his spot.

Wayne Milera, Alex Keath and Reilly O’Brien are the emergencies for Adelaide, while Shaun Hampson, Jayden Short and Corey Ellis make up the Tigers’ emergency list.

Adelaide ruled out forward Mitch McGovern (hamstring) on Wednesday after he failed to prove his fitness at the team’s main training session.

“It’s a sad story for Mitch … he’s played a lot of footy all season for us and been very good,” Don Pyke told the Nine Network’s The Footy Show.

“Unfortunately for him there aren’t too many two-week hamstrings.

“He tried his best to come up but it was just a bridge too far for him.”

He joins teammate Brodie Smith, who ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in the qualifying final win over Greater Western Sydney, as the hard luck stories of this year’s grand final.

Veteran forward Andy Otten replaced McGovern last week and will play in a grand final after missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons with a knee injury.

There had also been some concern over the fitness of Tigers Kane Lambert (foot) and David Astbury (shoulder) after Saturday’s preliminary final win over Greater Western Sydney.

Forward Sam Lloyd won the Norm Goss Medal for best player in the Tigers’ VFL grand final loss to Port Melbourne, but couldn’t make it onto the emergency list.