Saints recruit ‘hasn’t got the respect’ of star peers

Saints recruit ‘hasn’t got the respect’ of star peers

AFL great Matthew Lloyd says the pressure is on St Kilda recruit Brad Crouch to earn “respect” around the league by showing his worth under the searing spotlight that comes with playing for a Melbourne club.

Crouch during last year’s trade period joined the Saints on a four-year deal after the Adelaide Crows opted not to match St Kilda’s offer. He played 95 AFL games in eight seasons in Adelaide and was the club’s 2019 best-and-fairest.

The Saints, who last year played finals footy for the first time since 2011, will be hoping Crouch can add more depth to the club’s solid midfield group and go one step further this season.

But despite Crouch being a midfielder who’s averaged 26 disposals a game so far in his career, Lloyd says fans are yet to really see the best of the 27-year-old.

Brad Crouch (Getty)

The legendary goal-kicker said Crouch has so far been an “accumulator”, while making it known he will be watched as closely as Essendon midfielder Dylan Shiel, who famously left GWS to join the Bombers in 2019.

“He’s (Crouch) an interesting one because he’s been an accumulator for a lot of his career, doesn’t kick many goals,” Lloyd told Wide World of Sports’ for a St Kilda season preview.

“But on the Melbourne big stage, we will watch him a lot closer, like we have Dylan Shiel over the past 12 to 24 months.

“How good is Brad Crouch? He’s a best and fairest winner at the Adelaide Crows… but he hasn’t got the respect of a lot of people in the AFL.

“He comes with a bit of baggage as well, but I think for what St Kilda need, he was a good acquisition… they lost Jack Steven, so I think Brad Crouch is a good recruitment for them if he’s at his best.”

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