Adelaide’s Soligo can become midfield force: Crouch

Adelaide’s emerging midfield force Jake Soligo has the potential to join the elite on-ballers in the AFL, teammate Matt Crouch says.

Soligo’s breakout season continued on Thursday night with a Showdown medal for best-afield in the Crows’ 30-point win against Port Adelaide.

Soligo collected 28 disposals and laid 10 tackles in another performance that impressed his veteran teammate Crouch.

“He’s tough. He’s clean around the ball, his workrate is massive as well,” Crouch told reporters on Friday.

Soligo “absolutely” had the attributes to be among the competition’s best midfielders, Crouch said.

“He’s very clean and he’s a good decision-maker,” he said.

“And as you saw last night his contest stuff is just massive so his development has been really good.”

Crouch, who played his 150th AFL game in the victory against the Power, was also heartened by another factor in the triumph: Adelaide’s inexperienced defence.

Irishman Mark Keane (17 games), Josh Worrell (25), Max Michalanney (30), Luke Nankervis (nine) and debutant Dan Curtain restricted Port to only two goals after quarter-time.

“It’s really promising,” Crouch said.

“We spoke post-game about the defenders and how well they stood up for us.

“And you forget how little footy they’ve actually played together so it’s very exciting for this footy club to see those guys playing some great footy.”

The Crows host last year’s beaten grand finalist Brisbane on Saturday before an MCG meeting against reigning premiers Collingwood.