AFL 2022: All the Adelaide Crows news ahead of Round 19, Josh Rachele

Wingman Mitch Hinge, one of eight unsigned Crows for next season, has opened up about his future and whether he’ll still be a Crow in 2023.

Mitch Hinge is optimistic he will re-sign with Adelaide if a list squeeze materializes at West Lakes.

The 24-year-old utility is one of the eight Crows without a deal for 2023 and is one of only two AFL regulars along with goalneak James Rowe.

With Taylor Walker and Paddy Parnell newly signed and other list moves to come, players may now have to wait until the end of the campaign to get a new deal.

Hinge, who has played 12 of 17 games this season, told News Corp his situation looks positive.

“I’m pretty optimistic that something will be done,” Hinge said.

“Right now I’m not worried about that.

“I think Footy is doing the talking and I’m building on a pretty positive trajectory.”

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Hinge, who grew up in the south-east SA town of Mundulla, joined the Crows from Brisbane in late 2020 and only played one game last season due to a shoulder injury.

Earlier this year he was sidelined with a hip problem and was then surprisingly left out for last month’s game against Gold Coast.

Hinge returned for two games and then missed a week with Covid before regaining his spot for Saturday’s clash with Collingwood.

He was disappointed to be dropped but acknowledged his form had been up and down.

Team balance was one of the reasons for his axe.

“Daws (Jordan Dawson) went back and with the superstar that he is, we play similarly, although we’re not quite on the same level,” he said.

“I ended up on the hard end of that stick… but if I was really, really good, better than what I was, I probably wouldn’t have been dropped.

“I’ll try not to play the victim card and work on what else I can do.

“Once you’ve had those conversations, sit back and think about the bigger picture, I was probably okay with that.

“I’m back on the team now, so I’ve put that on the back burner and I’m moving forward.”

Hinge, who had been playing on a grand piano for the past few weeks, said getting more possession was a focus.

“Personally, I feel like I’ve come back, been able to play better and influence the games a little more than before,” he said.

WHY CROWS WALK WITHOUT RISK ARE RACHELE

Simeon Thomas Wilson

Adelaide will remain risk-free as young tomboy Josh Rachele has returned from a hip injury, says Crows forward coach James Rahilly.

The No. 6 draft pick has missed the Crows’ last two games with a hip injury.

He was given an intense session by the Crows on Monday.

But Rahilly hinted that the young savage could sit out this weekend’s clash against Sydney at the SCG.

“Yeah, it might be tight this week, he’s still in rehab,” Rahilly said.

“But he runs across the floor so we’re going to be careful with that and see how we walk and make sure he walks the right way.

“I don’t think he’s sore, it’s just a slow process trying to get that hip right.

“He probably struggled to cover the ground in his last game and as a striker coming into midfield he needs to cover the ground.

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“So we’re going to make sure he’s right when he comes back.”

Rachele made a stunning start to his AFL career for the Crows, stepping on five in the debut and impressing in his first few games.

But he had been calmer before going down with the hip joint injury.

Rahilly said the Crows had to be careful with Rachele, who was sidelined by the pandemic for two years before being drafted.

“I think we have to be careful, that’s the process we’re taking at the moment,” he said.

“Obviously his start to the year has been fantastic and we want that back and hopefully the plan is to get him really right so he covers the ground like he did in his first few games.”

After the Crows faced numerous questions about how the West Lakes rebuild had gone after a horror show against Hawthorn, Matthew Nicks’ side regained credibility after pushing Collingwood all the way to drop just five points.

Rahilly said there was a lot of focus on her start in the games.

“I definitely think our start, we definitely took a step back with our start (against Hawthorn) and we had to catch up all game,” he said.

“And we took a step back with our competitive game and our competitive footy and our ability to be clean at competition and I thought that was better over the weekend.

“It was an off-week and we wanted to show a reaction.

“We trained it and focused on it. We’re still wondering why we started badly and we checked how we warmed up.

“We had a pretty big critique about it.”

Originally published as AFL 2022: All the Adelaide Crows news ahead of Round 19

https://www.codesports.com.au/afl/afl-2022-all-the-latest-adelaide-crows-news-ahead-of-round-19/news-story/54e52c49b901dbc8b8069dee5fdf71c4?nk=f2547f3a30f3c3b4fd41d8279d07417d-1658214247 AFL 2022: All the Adelaide Crows news ahead of Round 19, Josh Rachele

Nate Jones

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