Etihad AFL surface no issue: Crows’ Walker

By , 25/04/2020 19:35

Taylor Walker is a good chance of an injury return for Adelaide’s AFL opener against Essendon.Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself if he decides to test his troublesome foot on a suspect Etihad Stadium surface in their round-one AFL clash with Essendon.
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Walker, having not played a pre-season match due to a plantar fascia strain, wasn’t pleased with the stadium surface on Thursday at the captains’ call.

Looking more like a rugby pitch after a series of scrums, the surface has been roughed up over the past week by crowds attending Ed Sheeran concerts.

Walker said it wouldn’t deter him, despite ending up in a moon boot in 2016 after pulling up sore from the usually hard surface after the round-one loss to North Melbourne.

“My boots are sinking right into the ground but I’m sure they will sort it out,” the star forward said.

“Old Ed Sheeran looks like he had a good time out here and, unfortunately, he’s left the ground in not great nick but it’s amazing what they (the ground staff) can do.”

Walker rated himself a good chance to take on the Bombers, as his team looked to put their grand-final defeat behind them.

He said he didn’t believe the injury could be made worse by playing, but needed to improve his fitness in the countdown.

“I need to do the training that’s expected and, obviously, I’ve had a limited pre-season so I need to get my fitness base to a level that will enable me to play my role and play four quarters,” Walker said.

“I’m on track for it.”

The Crows host Richmond in a grand-final rematch in round two, just six days after the Bombers game, and Walker admitted that could be a more-realistic goal.

“We will weigh all the options up – it’s a long season and, if I’m not 100 per cent, than I won’t play.”

If unavailable, Walker backed South n youngster Darcy Fogarty to step up after the 18-year-old booted three goals in the first half of the Crows’ pre-season clash with Port Adelaide.

“He looked very good but it will all depend on team balance,” Walker said.

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