The Adelaide Crows – who looked likely finalists at various times throughout the year – finished the season a disappointing 12th, after playing off for the premiership in 2017.
From day one, they had Eddie Betts just outside the top-50 goals scorers of all time and he finished the home-and-away season in position 41.
This was despite him playing the fewest number of games and kicking the fewest number of goals in a season since his last year at Carlton, 2013. In that year, he played 18 games and kicked 27 goals, while in 2018 he played the same number of games but kicked two goals more.
Of course the two current players he is in a tussle with on the goal-kicking list are Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn) and Josh Kennedy (West Coast Eagles), and both have finals games to lift their overall tallies, so Eddie may drop a couple of positions before hopefully moving back up the ladder in 2019.
Crows fans would have been hoping that Betts would be joined by captain Taylor Walker, who needed only 32 goals – a total he had achieved in seven of his nine AFL seasons – at the start of the year to make the top 100 list.
It was not to be, as ‘Tex’ played only 14 games for 26 goals.
By the end of the season, fans had another reason to cheer Betts, this time on the top 100 game-players’ list. His last game in 2018 was his 295th, seeing him rise to 88th position.
The Crows played eight new recruits during the season, with Bryce Gibbs not only playing the most games, but also kicking the most goals.
Gibbs played every game for the season, as he did in his last two years at Carlton, to stretch his record of consecutive games to 66.
With the issue of a new number (6) at Adelaide, his record of being the fifth-greatest game player of number 4 has stagnated, but Josh Jenkins – Adelaide’s current #4 – has moved into the top-ten goal scorers in this jumper.
However, Tom Doedee, who played only two fewer games than Gibbs, and the 19-year-old Lachlan Murphy – who kicked only one fewer goal than Gibbs in his 11 games – are the players supporters are looking forward to seeing in the years to come.
Club stalwarts Richard Douglas and David Mackay finished in ninth and 16th position respectively on the club’s all-time game players’ list, and seventh and equal eighth respectively on the AFL jumpers wearers’ list in their numbers, 14 (Mackay) and 26 (Douglas).