After a return to his native state of Victoria, Brad Crouch has made his impact felt during his first season in St Kilda colours.
Crossing the border from Adelaide during the trade period last season, the silky midfielder was recruited by the Saints for his ability to collect high disposal numbers and add another element of grunt to the Saints’ engine room.
While his debut in Saints colours may not have been the happy homecoming Crouch envisioned, the 27-year-old has found his groove as the season has progressed, forging a potent partnership with Jack Steele in the middle of the ground.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Crouch will be keen to build off his encouraging start and lead the Saints forward as they head into the back-half of 2021.
By the numbers
Games (2021): 11
Goals (2021): 4
Key stats: Second for St Kilda’s disposals (295), centre clearances (246), contested possessions (132) and third for effective disposals (196)
The numbers don’t lie, and while Crouch may have struggled at the start of the season to get going, he certainly has made up for it.
Following the Round 6 clash against Port Adelaide, the No. 5 has averaged 30 disposals per game, providing a consistent output alongside skipper Jack Steele.
His partnership with the Saints’ co-captain has been productive so far numbers-wise, with Steele and Crouch sitting first and second respectively in disposals, centre clearances and contested possessions for the club.
Since his breakout game against Hawthorn, Crouch has had several standout performances, but it would be hard to go past his game against the Swans.
In a week thrown into chaos due to the COVID-19 restrictions enforced in Victoria, Crouch was outstanding in the middle of the ground, collecting 38 disposals, 14 contested possessions, seven clearances and seven tackles in the Harbour City.
38 disposals, 12 score involvements, seven clearances and seven tackles.— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) June 6, 2021
Brad Crouch was immense. pic.twitter.com/l36sUMVjdU
While his solo efforts weren’t enough to get the Saints over the line, the midfield bull was voted Sainter of the Round by fans.
Season So Far
Club debuts don’t get much tougher than what Brad Crouch faced in Round 3, with the Saints put to the sword by a rampaging Essendon side.
Crouch came out firing the following week against West Coast, collecting 26 disposals, 15 contested possessions and a career-high 12 tackles as St Kilda stormed home to complete a 52-point turnaround at Marvel Stadium.
While the former Crow racked up decent numbers against Richmond and Port Adelaide, it was the return of Paddy Ryder aligned with Crouch coming alive in the middle.
32 touches and seven clearances against Hawthorn was followed up with a 30-disposal game against the Suns, including a fantastic running goal from 50 metres out to put the Saints in front.
30 disposals, six clearances and a crucial goal ??— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) May 9, 2021
Take a bow, Brad Crouch. pic.twitter.com/VmIvLs8qG4
Mixing his silky skills with a ferocity at the footy, Crouch entered the bye with back-to-back 35+ disposal games under his belt.
His masterclass at the SCG was followed up in Cairns against his old side, in what was a gritty performance in the wet conditions
Battling it out in the tropics against Adelaide, Crouch collected 36 disposals, six tackles, five clearances and 19 contested possessions, the second-highest of his career.