The Adelaide Crows have suffered a blow ahead of the 2023 AFLW season, with medium-forward McKenzie Dowrick to miss the campaign.

As confirmed by the club on Tuesday, Dowrick has been placed on the inactive list as she begins to recover from a knee reconstruction that she endured on September 30 last year in the inaugural AFL Showdown clash between the two South Australian clubs.

“McKenzie has been working hard in rehab but unfortunately she's had a setback and therefore won't be available to play in the upcoming season,” Adelaide's Head of Women's Football Phil Harper said.

“It's very disappointing for McKenzie because she has shown promise in her four games since joining us from West Coast and has done a mountain of work to try to get back in time, but unfortunately it won't be this year.”

The long-kicking 172cm forward joined the Adelaide Crows in 2022 as a replacement player after stints with both the Brisbane Lions and West Coast Eagles.

She was then delisted by the club but was re-drafted after earning selection in the SANFLW Team of the Year - kicking 15 goals from eight games.


Dowrick's exclusion from the senior list has allowed medium-defender Brooke Smith to take her place.

Aged 19, Smith is a promising utility coming out of Victoria and has recently been playing with the Dandenong Stingrays. She also has experience in the VFLW representing the Casey Demons.

“Brooke is a skilful half-back or half-forward, with a nice turn of speed and the ability to kick on both feet,” Harper added.

“She really impressed us playing for the VFLW Under-23 All Stars against some of the best draft-age talent in the country.

"After missing a fair bit of footy in her draft year (2022) because of injury, she's worked hard to get back to full fitness and has been in good form this season.

“Brooke is very determined to make the most of this opportunity and we are excited about what she can add to our group. We look forward to welcoming Brooke and her family to our Club.”

The call-up into the senior list adds to Smith's stellar year. Earlier this year in June she won the MVP award for the VFLW Under-23 All Stars in their victory against the AFLW Academy at Marvel Stadium.

Standing at 171cm, she will be determined to achieve her AFLW debut this season for the Crows.

Smith's inclusion in the squad means she will move to Adelaide in the coming weeks before joining pre-season training, which is about to begin.