Showdown Medal winner Jake Soligo has credited his teammates, time in the gym and the club's new psychologist for his strong start to the 2024 season, with the 21-year-old's rise reaching new heights in Thursday night's win over rivals Port Adelaide.

Soligo was a prolific force across all four quarters of Adelaide's 30-point win over the Power, collecting 28 disposals, 10 tackles, 15 contested possessions and six clearances to comfortably be the standout player on the field.

Working in tandem with senior trio Jordan Dawson, Rory Laird and Matt Crouch so far this year, Soligo has emerged as one of the most promising midfielders in the competition amid a breakout third season at West Lakes.

Speaking after his Showdown Medal-winning performance, Soligo said he wouldn't be where he is without the three mentoring midfielders, while the club's new psychologist Rosie Stanimirovic has allowed the Eastern Ranges product to "live in the moment".

"It's super exciting, to be alongside those great names who played for the Crows and Port," Soligo said of winning the medal.

"I couldn't do it without Crouch, Lairdy and Dawson in the midfield. They were super tonight and they really helped me get to where I am now.

"A lot of time in the gym in the off-season (has also helped), just trying to get a little bit stronger.

Embed from Getty Images

"A lot of mental stuff as well. We've got a new psychologist, Rosie, who came in at the start of this year. She's been super good for me, just sitting me down and helping me live in the moment a bit more. She's been good."

Soligo's stunning performance came after a strong opening quarter to his campaign, with the well-balanced onballer ranking top four at the Crows for disposals, tackles, contested possessions and clearances in 2024.

His coach said the Showdown performance from Soligo wasn't an outlier given the youngster's start to the season, but it was a "big one" given the stage and pressure.

"I think he's had a fantastic month of footy. There's a lot more upside still to come," Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said.

"I'm really pleased he's getting reward for the work that he's done. He's always wanting to learn, you get what you deserve.

"I thought tonight was probably a performance that he's put out for a month, tonight's was a big one though in a big game."

The Crows were also able to lean on key defender Mark Keane for another formidable Showdown performance, with the Irishman among the reasons why the Power were kept to just two goals after the first quarter.

Keane was among Adelaide's best in last year's Round 20 win over the Power, and again featured strongly on Thursday night to help steer Nicks' side to a win.

The Crows coach said the former Magpie has plenty of upside and room to grow after just 17 AFL games.

"Our backs were outstanding. Keane and (Josh) Worrell... (Jordon) Butts coming back in. They were just ruthless," Nicks said of his defensive group.

"Right throughout the night they never gave up. I don't know what the inside 50 count was, close to 60-odd, for a group to hold up under that (was good).

Embed from Getty Images

"You talk about upside... he's still learning the game 'Keaney'.

"He's having huge jobs, no bigger than tonight, and he just keeps getting better.  I hope that's a trend, because I think he's still got a fair way to go."

Adelaide, who have won three of their past four games after snapping their winless start to the season, remain in South Australia next week to host Brisbane at Adelaide Oval next Sunday.

 2024-05-02T09:30:00Z 
 
 
Adelaide Oval
ADEL   
78
FT
48
   PORT