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Crows may turn to Rankine to boost lacklustre midfield

Jackson Clark -

The Adelaide Crows may turn to excitement machine Izak Rankine in a bid to add some much-needed speed and x-factor to their midfield group.

The Crows have started the season winless after four matches, with criticism directed towards the team’s midfield for its lack of explosiveness.

One man who has that in spades is the 23-year-old Rankine, who was linked to a potential move up the field throughout the pre-season.

Instead, Rankine has spent the majority of time up forward to start the season and has kicked five goals from four appearances, well down on his averages from 2023.

Adelaide assistant coach Nathan Van Berlo conceded that sending Rankine to the midfield would give the team a ‘different look’.

“Izak ahead of the ball commands a very good defender, wins a lot of his own ball, and kicks opportunistic goals that others cannot, but then in and around the footy gives us a different look,” Van Berlo said.

“We’d like two of him to be honest.

Izak Rankine celebrates a goal. (Image: Getty Images)

“We’ll certainly have a look at it and see what the mix looks like going into the game, whether that mix is different or the same, what we’ll be focussing on it getting our contest right.”

The Crows have struggled to live up to expectations so far this season having already posted losses to the Gold Coast, Geelong, Fremantle and Melbourne.

Rankine started the season with consecutive two-goal performances, before being held goalless against the Cats and responding with 18 disposals and a goal last Thursday night.

The Kokatha and Ngarrindjeri man said during the pre-season that he enjoys playing further up the ground.

"I get to have a run around in the midfield, chase the ball around and get the ball moving, then get forward and kick a few goals," Rankine said.

"It puts the opposition team on their heels a bit, because they aren't sure where I'm going or structurally where to set up."

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