The Adelaide Crows’ rooms were jampacked with adoring fans, and the players were in party mode, after their huge win over Carlton on Thursday night that kickstarted the AFL’s Gather Round.
But it was the sight of one particular home-grown Adelaide supporter that had players and even the coach gushing.
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AFL supporters from all over the country have descended on the state for Gather Round where all the Round 5 games will be played in South Australia.
It has brought a festive air and touch of glamour to the AFL for the week.
And that was highlighted when Australian music royalty (and judge on Channel 7’s The Voice) Guy Sebastian appeared in the winner’s rooms after the game.
Players and those who met Sebastian were left star-struck by the sight of the immaculately dressed music icon.
Following the game rising gun Josh Rachele spoke to Channel 7 football reporter Mitch Cleary.
“I was a bit star-struck coming into the rooms (and) seeing Guy Sebastian,” Rachele said.
“I used to watch that guy on TV when I was younger.”
And even coach Matthew Nicks couldn’t help but admit he was in awe of the superstar.
“We had Guy Sebastian in the rooms – even I lost my composure for five or 10 minutes. Photos and autographs – I do love him,” Nicks said after the game.
It was a big night for the young Adelaide team with the spotlight glaring on them for the first game of the inaugural Gather Round.
“But our players just remained focused and smiled their way through,” Nicks said.
It was Adelaide’s third win in a row and ended Carlton’s unbeaten start to the season.
Significantly, Adelaide’s scintillating first quarter was their best football since the 2017 preliminary final win over Geelong.
“We had a stage on the oval – a lot of our guys have never played a game where there’s a stage on the oval. Some have, but it’s pretty rare. Even when we were walking around in the pre-game and the question you have as a coaching group is, you just don’t know what sort of energy you can burn in a lead-in to a game like this,” Nick said.
“But that adds to the win, the fact that our guys were able to come out like they did. They hadn’t burned any energy, they were ready.
“There was always going to be things that pop up, like Guy in the changerooms, the lead-in the traffic that was around. It was a big, big stage, so we acknowledged all of that.
“Our guys reacted really well to that. I can’t guarantee you we’ll do that every time, but this is a great step for us to be able to play a big stage and get it done. We haven’t done it since I’ve been at the footy club.”
The Crows have not made the top eight since 2017 but are currently in sixth with three wins from five games.
“Our squad is so strong at the moment and I don’t want our guys to hide from that – I want them to enjoy and embrace form,” Nicks said.
“Form is fickle and we know it can disappear really quickly. We want our group to remain really confident and believe in themselves – that’s what you saw (against Carlton).
“They just put it together. That’s our challenge, to do it again.”
Adelaide mauled Carlton in the first quarter with eight goals, but Nicks was more proud of how his team handled the rest of the game.
The Blues were always going to respond and they were only 24 points behind early in the last term.
But the Crows first held them off and then killed Carlton’s challenge later in the final quarter.
“This is a great step for us, to be able to play a big stage and get it done,” Nicks said.
“We haven’t done it since I’ve been at the footy club.”
While Adelaide kicked more than 100 points, they were happier that they restricted Carlton to only 62.
It is the lowest score kicked against the Crows this season.
That earned the team next Wednesday off, thanks to a deal that was struck on the night between the players and coaches.
“I can tell you, there are a few happy boys in that room … that the number was 62.
“That number is a lot more important than the number (score) we put up.”
– With AAP
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