Adelaide fancy their chances of upsetting AFL flag favourites Hawthorn in next Saturday’s preliminary final, Crows coach Brenton Sanderson says.
The Crows pipped Fremantle by 10 points in Friday night’s semi-final to set up a MCG meeting with the Hawks.
Adelaide enter the fixture rank outsiders to advance to the grand final – a scenario which suits Sanderson.
“The belief has always been there,” Sanderson said after the Crows ended Fremantle’s season with a 12.9 (81) to 11.5 (75) triumph at AAMI Stadium.
“The doubt comes externally.
“I have got tremendous belief in our playing group.
“And the assistant coaches have been fantastic this week in reminding our players that their best is good enough.
“We will certainly have to be at our best next week.
“Hawthorn, with the week off, in Melbourne – we’ll certainly be the underdogs.
“But we’ll certainly go over there really confident after our second half,” he said, referring to Adelaide outscoring the Dockers eight goals to four after halftime in the semi-final.
The comeback victory ensured the Crows avoided becoming the first club in 15 years to finish second and exit the finals with consecutive finals losses, but Sanderson cautioned against overly celebrating the win.
“It’s important we understand we have just won a semi-final and that puts us in a position to play in a prelim,” he said.
“So you enjoy it, we review it, and then we get on with our next opponent.
“The season’s not over for us.
“As happy as we feel now and as relieved as we feel it’s important to get back to business now, recover well, review, and we’ll get on with the Hawks as soon as we can.”