MORE high-profile Adelaide veterans will follow Bryce Gibbs out of the AFL side if they continue to disappoint, coach Don Pyke has warned
The spotlight will be on misfiring forwards like Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts and Josh Jenkins when the Crows play winless North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night after the shock axing of Gibbs.
Much was expected of Pyke’s men in 2019 after last year’s disastrous campaign that followed on from their grand final loss to Richmond.
But their season is off to a shaky start with a 1-2 record, including two home losses.
Pyke made a bold statement at the selection table by dropping Gibbs and won’t be afraid to repeat the dose.
“We’ve got some guys who, I think it’s been acknowledged, are not in their best form,” Pyke said on Friday.
“There’s always a challenge at match committee … at what point do you support those guys, back those guys in to return to form, (or drop them).
“Clearly we’ve got to look at some of our guys ahead of the ball, in our forward line, they’re not playing as well as we know they’re capable of.
“There’s an opportunity for them (against the Roos) and I’m confident they’ll respond.”
Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Myles Poholke were added to the line-up, with Paul Seedsman (knee) the other departure from the team that lost to Geelong at Adelaide Oval.
Gibbs will play in the SANFL for the first time since 2006, the same year Carlton took him with the No.1 pick at the draft.
It’s a dizzying fall for the 30-year-old who played every game for Adelaide last season after the club gave up two first-round draft picks to swing a go-home trade.
“It’s just a matter of form and his form has been pretty patchy,” Pyke explained.
“It’s easy to look at possessions but we look at his total game.
“There’s some bits and pieces in his game he needs to work on.
“We know he’s a quality player and we want him in our best 22, but he’s got some things he just has to tidy up.
“When he does that, I expect he’ll push for selection really soon.”
North coach Brad Scott made four changes as he looks for an elusive win.
Mason Wood, Jed Anderson, Paul Ahern and Cameron Zurhaar replaced Ben McKay, Dom Tyson and Tom Campbell, who were dropped, and Bailey Scott was rested.
© AAP 2019