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Crows ready for long-awaited AFLW final

Adelaide’s AFLW coach Matthew Clarke is borrowing a kindergarten saying ahead of his club’s long-awaited preliminary final.

Clarke’s Crows haven’t played since March 13 entering Saturday’s prelim against Fremantle at Adelaide Oval.

AFLW hierarchy were forced the delay a qualifying final amid a COVID-19 outbreak, meaning minor premiers Adelaide had to wait three weeks instead of two to start their finals campaign.

“My kids have got a good saying that comes from their kindergarten,” Clarke told reporters on Wednesday.

“You get what you get and don’t get upset.”

The added delay was caused by a COVID-19 outbreak at Collingwood, forcing their qualifying final against Brisbane to be postponed a week. That final was played, and won by the Lions, last Sunday.

Fremantle won their qualifying final on March 19 and the delay gave the Dockers a week’s rest before facing the Crows.

“There is always swings and roundabouts in everything,” Clarke said.

“Clearly the extra week has enabled anyone with a minor ailment to be fully recovered.

“And then the flipside is the slight lack of (playing) continuity.”

To avoid exposure to COVID-19, most Adelaide players have largely self-isolated while waiting for their preliminary final.

Superstar Erin Phillips has been living and working in a caravan in her driveway; other Crows have taken leave from their jobs.

“It has been such a fun, enjoyable season,” Clarke said.

“The one piece of the puzzle which has been a bit frustrating and has put a bit of a dampener on things has just been that COVID situation.

“And the fact that in order to minimise risk, we have had to basically put our lives beyond football on hold to a fair extent.”

Clarke said such sacrifices were “noted and appreciated”.

“It’s a short window and ultimately we have all got to make choices,” he said.

“The choices they make are admirable.

“When you’re involved from a coaching perspective or all of our administrative staff, you do hold a sense of responsibility to … do everything you can to ensure that they have got the best opportunity to have success.

“Because you’re well aware of the sacrifices that many of them are making and the fact that it remains a semi-professional environment, it’s certainly not their fulltime job.”

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