Sliding down draft doesn't concern Crows

Reilly O'Brien with coach Matthew Nicks after Adelaide's win over Hawthorn in the AFL.
Reilly O'Brien with coach Matthew Nicks after Adelaide's win over Hawthorn in the AFL.

Building a winning culture is more important to Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks than the prospect of missing out on the Jason Horne sweepstakes.

The Crows went a long way to avoiding a second straight wooden spoon with a 19-point victory against fellow cellar dwellers Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

The Crows are now 15th on the ladder, four points clear of Collingwood and six ahead of the Hawks and North Melbourne, with four rounds to play.

Whoever finishes last will have the first opportunity to draft highly-rated South Australian Horne, who has been turning heads with his performances for South Adelaide in the SANFL.

"Everyone's eyeing (the younger players) off, they're great footballers and there's a lot of them there," Nicks said.

"There's a lot playing in Victoria.

"Horne's obviously a fantastic player, (but) we're building a winning culture, that's what we're after.

"These things take time, but that's what we're about. We're here to win games of footy.

"You look at the draft, and part of that is adding to the group over the years.

"You're looking to get the best talent in that you can, that's every club.

"We'd love to win four more games."

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said that while winning was important, he was also focused on the development of the club's young players.

"We want to win, we're not going to throw the season by any means. We'll see where that takes us over the next four rounds," Clarkson said.

"We're not as concerned about ladder position as much as we are about the emergence of our younger players and giving them exposure.

"We will see where we finish up at the end of it all."

Crows forward Lachlan Murphy will have scans on an ankle injury, while Hawks midfielder James Cousins is likely to be sidelined with a hamstring complaint.

Australian Associated Press