Crouch reveals family struggle over Brad’s move
Adelaide's prolific ball-getter Matt Crouch has revealed the constant "will-he/won't-he re-sign with the Crows" speculation that dogged his older brother Brad during the 2020 season was as hard on his family as it was difficult for his brother.
Speaking ahead of the 2021 season - his eighth with Adelaide and final year before, he too, falls into free agency - the 25-year-old said the Crouch family struggled under the intense scrutiny.
"Obviously the stuff that happened with Brad, it's family that feel it the most and they just struggled with it all, which is completely understandable," Crouch said.
"We're lucky he had great support around him and he's been able to handle it pretty well."
Brad left the Crows at the end of the 2020 season and headed back home to Victoria, signing with St Kilda.
"It was challenging," Matt said.
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"You can't shy away from that, it was a hard time for our family as well, so he had some great support.
"But he's not at the footy club anymore and I'm focused on what I can do at this footy club and how I can help our young boys so it will be interesting playing against him but I'm looking forward to the season."
The brothers will face each other for the first time as opponents in Round 13 in a clash scheduled for June 12, at Cazaly's Stadium in Far North Queensland.
Since the two have always played for the same team - first for junior clubs in Ballarat and then Adelaide - this will be the first time the brothers have played against each other.
"It will be a bit different playing against him, but there's plenty of games before then, so I'm more worried about them to be honest," the 2017 Crows club champion said.
Crouch, who holds club records for most disposals in a season (825 with an average of 33 in 2017) and most handballs in a season (480, ave; 19.2 in 2017), said he missed his brother … but only "a little bit".
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"I've been with him for the seven or eight years he was here and I've been with him the whole time, but he's happy at St Kilda now and adapting to his new life, but I'm enjoying the (Adelaide) footy club, there are a lot of new faces around here and it's been a new change, and I'm also enjoying that as well," he said.
But he admits the first few times driving to training without his brother were somewhat strange.
"The first couple of days it was a bit weird and outside of footy it's probably a bit different when you're not catching up with him … it's been a bit of a change and it's something you've just got to cope with and I'm looking forward to the season."
Originally published as Crouch reveals family struggle over Brad's move