I’m not done yet, says veteran Betts
Adelaide fan favourite Eddie Betts has heard the commentary speculating about his imminent demise.
But the three-time All-Australian, 32, believes he still has plenty to offer a Crows forward line that has come under intense attack this week for its lack of firepower so far this season.
"I'm fine (with the speculation)," Betts told FIVEaa Breakfast on Thursday as he prepares to lace up for his 299th AFL game on Saturday night.
"When you're over 30 and you have a bad game, everything is going to be about your age. 'You're coming to an end'. But for me personally, I feel like I've still got some great footy in myself and I am the fittest that I've been."
After booting 75 goals in 2016, Betts only managed 29 majors in 2018 and has so far kicked 3.3 this campaign, to go with 21 kicks, 13 handballs, 6 marks and 10 tackles. He scored just the one behind against Geelong after suffering a knock to the head in the second quarter.
Port Adelaide AFL games record holder Kane Cornes is among those who have questioned whether the mercurial forward's best is behind him.
"Their forward line is definitely not functioning and Eddie Betts looks a shell of the Eddie Betts that we know," the Power great told SEN Afternoons last week.
"You always expect with Eddie that he's going to turn it on at some stage. It's been a while now for Eddie … At 32, you don't often play better at that age."
But Betts was confident he could turn his so-far quiet season around quickly, starting with the match against North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
"It's going to turn, but it's up to myself to make that turn," a frank Betts said.
"I can't rely on any one else. I've got to go out there and get to more contests, put more pressure on, get some more inside-50 tackles.
"When I put more pressure on and when I'm tackling, everything else comes. The goals, the enjoyment. I've just got to keep working at it."
After assistant coach Ben Hart conceded on Monday the forward line "was not working at the moment", Betts acknowledged teams such as Hawthorn and Geelong had done their homework on the Crows.
"I think teams are putting a lot of pressure (on us)," Betts said.
"Backlines are playing really smart and helping each other. Some of it is execution as well. We're giving those looks but we're missing those kicks. And it's not just mids or backs, it's forwards as well. We have to work on that execution part of it and teams are getting better with their defence so we need to find ways to connect in the forward line.
"We're playing some great footy but we're having lapses in quarters … I think it was the third quarter against Geelong when they kicked a few goals in a row and that's what cost us.
"It's going to turn for us, we just need that connection going forwards between the mids, forwards and backs cos we haven't had many inside 50 marks and goals.
"If you thought after Round 3 our leading goalkicker would be Brad Crouch with four - ummmm. I think things will change pretty soon."