Douglas keen to fill in for Smith

30 January 2018 20:55:56 GMTPlus11

Veteran Richard Douglas sees himself as a likely replacement for the injured Brodie Smith in Adelaide's defence next season.

The 30-year-old has played mostly in midfield during his 205-game Crows career, though he has spent time across half-back and half-forward in the past couple seasons.

Smith will miss most of the campaign after tearing his ACL in the qualifying final against Greater Western Sydney last year.

That's meant a re-think for Douglas during pre-season, and it's likely he will move into the defence to allow star recruit Bryce Gibbs to slot straight into the Crows' midfield.

Douglas said he'd been learning from defensive coaches Ben Hart and Brent Reilly during the pre-season, knowing he might be called to fill in for Smith.

"I'll hopefully try and spend more time across half-back than I did last year and build on my work there," he added. "I've been working closely with the backs coaches, so I'm looking forward to building on that work and hopefully providing some run across half-back in the absence of (Smith).

"Getting Bryce across from Carlton has been great, so he'll spend more time in the midfield. We've got some good depth in the midfield, and with Brodie going down, there's a spot to be filled there - I feel like I can fill that role."

Consistency was Douglas' watchword last season when he averaged 21.7 possessions and didn't miss a game. It was his second-highest amount of disposals per game in his 12 seasons with the Crows.

Adelaide are 1000/1 to win the Grand Final, while the Crows are 21/20 to win their first game of the season against Essendon, who are 4/5.

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