Adelaide skipper Jordan Dawson has strongly denied rumours of a rift with teammate Tom Doedee after the defender was overlooked as captain for 2023.
Doedee, who has played 71 games for the club since being taken in the first round of the 2015 Draft, was seen as the likely next-man-in after Rory Sloane to lead the Crows before Dawson’s reported “leapfrog” to the top job.
It’s a remarkable rise for Dawson at Adelaide, given just twelve months ago he was a new recruit after accepting a reported $3.2m deal to leave Sydney.
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He’s played just 22 games for the club, including the thrilling Showdown victory where he kicked the matchwinning goal after the siren, but was named the new captain last Saturday.
While Dawson says he’s “extremely humbled” to be named captain at Adelaide, the Herald Sun reports the decision saw Victorian recruiters “start formulating juicy offers” for Doedee – given he is a Geelong Falcons junior.
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The decision to name Dawson captain was described by the media outlet as a “kick in the guts” for Doedee, given he was the man the club turned to as Sloane’s stand-in skipper in 2020.
But Dawson has played down any suggestion Doedee wants out, after being snubbed as captain.
“He’s not disappointed at all – he’s absolutely pumped for me,” Dawson said on SEN.
“I think one thing we have in the leadership group at Adelaide is a lot of a diverse players … I think there was a number of us willing and able to step up.
“He’s still a crucial part of the leadership group and I’ll be bouncing ideas and on leaning on him throughout the year no doubt.”
While some AFL experts believe Dawson was “fast-tracked” in a leadership role at the Crows, given he was elevated into the leadership group midway through his first season at the club, he’s found plenty of support as captain.
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“I think you need to spend a bit of time with him – he’s very passionate but very level headed at the same time,” teammate Rory Laird said on SEN.
“In terms of the captaincy and the leadership and the off field stuff, he came into the leadership (group) during the year and you could see how quickly he integrated himself into the group.
“I think he’s the man for the job – it’s a very exciting time for him.
“I’m excited to play under him.”
Former Crows skipper Mark Bickley was also glowing in his praise for Dawson.
“He’s only been there one year, he finished second in the best and fairest last year, and clearly he’s made a big impact on the group because now they’ve seen fit to endorse him,” he said on SEN SA.
“Clearly he’s got the respect of all the players.
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“As an Adelaide supporter, I’m really excited about Jordan.”
Former Crow Bryce Gibbs, who had departed the club before Dawson’s trade deal, said Sloane had made the “right” call to stand aside as captain after missing all but four games last year with a ruptured ACL.
“I think it’s an extremely tough decision for him and I think he’s made the right one,” he said on SEN SA.
“After having the year off last year, his sole focus should be getting back into this side, playing some good footy and helping this young group get back to playing finals footy.”
Story Credit: foxsports.com.au