Crows star Sloane raring for AFL return

Adelaide star Rory Sloane says he felt helpless watching the Crows lose to West Coast during his AFL suspension.

Sloane was forced to view Friday’s 29-point defeat at Adelaide Oval from the coaching box after being slapped with a one-week ban for accidentally striking Port’s Brad Ebert.

“You see everything and the game’s so easy from up there,” he said on Wednesday.

“That’s probably why the camera panned up to me a couple of times. I probably looked a bit frustrated at times, which I couldn’t help.

“You feel incredibly helpless up there, especially as a player. You want to be out there trying to change the momentum of the game.”

Sloane’s absence, which rendered him ineligible for the Brownlow medal in what has been a career-best season, was felt sorely.

The Crows have made contested possessions a strength this year but were comfortably beaten in that area by a more switched-on West Coast side.

Forced to endure an extra week off before the start of the finals, Sloane joked he was so desperate to play he asked coach Don Pyke for permission to line up in the SANFL.

“I tried but Pykey wouldn’t let me,” he said.

“I’m probably bouncing off the walls a bit. I had a big (training) session Friday morning while everyone else was sleeping and getting ready for the game.

“I would have much rather played but I think, as much as this bye is probably a bit of an adjustment for some guys, it’s probably going to help us out a lot.

“There are a few guys probably a bit sore coming towards the end of the season so it gives some guys a great chance to freshen up and really get ready for a big first final.”

The Crows will train at their West Lakes base on Wednesday and Friday as they prepare to host North Melbourne in an elimination final on Saturday September 10.

Sloane said he wouldn’t underestimate the Kangaroos, who will have added motivation with veterans including Brent Harvey and Drew Petrie playing final games for the club.

“You’d want to keep winning for them, absolutely,” Sloane said.

“I presume those North Melbourne boys are going to be very hungry to win a first final. It’s certainly going to be a challenge for us but we’re going in with the same mindset.”

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