Crows hope milestone man Brodie Smith regains his mojo

Justin Chadwick and Steve Larkin |

Brodie Smith will make his 250th appearance against the Dockers.
Brodie Smith will make his 250th appearance against the Dockers.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks hopes Friday night’s AFL clash with Fremantle in Perth will result in the Crows’ first win of the season and the return to form of milestone man Brodie Smith.

The Crows are 0-2 after starting their season with losses to Gold Coast and Geelong.

Smith will notch his 250-game milestone against the Dockers on Friday night, but he is a man under pressure following two underwhelming performances.

The 32-year-old’s shanked kick against Geelong exemplified his struggles, with Smith admitting he had never before kicked that poorly at training, let alone during a game.

“He’s not in his best form and he’s the one who’s first to put his hand up with that,” Nicks said.

“He’s been great around the group.

“We’ll do what we can to try and bring him back into form because he’s important to us.

“Across halfback, that’s where you really get the rebound and where your attack starts from.

“We hope we can help him with that and get him back into form we know he’s produced over the majority of his career.”

In contrast to Adelaide’s struggles, Fremantle are flying at 2-0 following wins over Brisbane and North Melbourne.

Luke Jackson
The Dockers’ Luke Jackson has made a superb start to the season. (Julian Smith/AAP PHOTOS)

Luke Jackson has been a big part of Fremantle’s early-season success, with the former Demon leading the ruck superbly in the absence of Sean Darcy (knee).

Jackson’s ability to compete both in the air and at ground level has been a huge weapon for Fremantle, and he’s also drifted forward to kick two goals in each of the opening two games.

“It’s a different feel for our mids,” Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir said of Jackson’s impact in the ruck.

“When Sean’s in there, he dominates the hit outs..

“When Jacko’s in there, we don’t dominate the hit outs as much obviously, but you get an extra person at ground level to hunt and harass the opposition.

“And his ability to join in when we win it to come out the front is as good as any of the other mids in there.”

Longmuir is expecting a tough battle against Adelaide.

“They’re dangerous all over ground,” he said.

“I know they’re 0-2, but they’ve been playing some really good footy. We’re going to get a really physical, contested game.”

In the earlier game on Good Friday, Carlton and North Melbourne lock horns at Marvel Stadium.