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Crows keen to keep Doedee for next year's finals quest

Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks has labelled his team as one of the big improvers of season 2023, and he would love for free agent Tom Doedee to be part of the club's finals bid next year.

The Crows finished their season on a high with a 45-point win over West Coast in Perth on Saturday night.

The result ensured Adelaide (11-12) finished 10th of the ladder.

If it wasn't for the huge goal umpiring blunder that cost Adelaide victory against Sydney last week, the Crows might have sneaked into the finals.

A series of close losses also cost Adelaide the chance to feature in September, with the Crows losing twice to Collingwood (by one and two points), once to Brisbane (by six points), once to Melbourne (by four points) and once to Sydney (by one point).

Adelaide's 2-8 record on the road this year also brought about their undoing.

The Crows aren't expected to make many changes to their emerging list during the off-season, but the future of defender Doedee is up in the air.

Doedee, who ruptured the ACL in his right knee in June, has expressed his desire to stay at Adelaide.

But it's been reported the offer tabled to the 26-year-old by Adelaide falls short of what he's after.

"Tom is a player that we want to have at our footy club," Nicks said.

"Tom really wants to stay at our footy club and we'll just keep working through that with him on where that finishes up. 

"List management isn't as simple as, you know, we can't have 60 on the list. I'd love to keep every player that's been through our club because we have a club that's got a lot of good people in it. 

"But we'll put our heads down now and go to work as far as what next year looks like."

Unrestricted free agent Matt Crouch is expected to leave, with clubs from Victoria and NSW circling the veteran midfielder.

Adelaide posted an 8-14 record in 2022 with a percentage of 86.7.

This year's percentage of 116.8 was the best indication of Adelaide's significant leap forward, fuelling hopes of a return to finals next year.

"I think we're one of the most improved sides on the year," Nicks said.

"I think in the end we finished number No.1 for offence,

"We know we've got to improve when it comes to our defence. We sit ninth and that's probably where we sit on the ladder. 

"So we'll do a lot of work on improving that part of our game and if that gets us finals, that'd be a great result."