ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 07: Ned McHenry of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2021 AFL Round 21 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power at Adelaide Oval on August 7, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Adelaide youngster Ned McHenry is eyeing more exposure in Matthew Nicks' engine room this pre-season as he plans his pathway into becoming a household name in midfield.

The 21-year-old has shown plenty of promising glimpses in his 29-game career, proving to be a formidable option through the middle and in attack for the Crows.

Entering his fourth season at West Lakes, McHenry is hoping next year will continue his trend of development as he sets his sights on adding more minutes in midfield.

“Hopefully long term I’m a midfielder,” McHenry told Sportsday SA. "Midfield is my primary position & I want to be a midfielder.

“At the moment playing more half-forward & kind of a small forward role. I want to do a mix of the pre-season with both the mids & the forwards and make sure I get a good mix of that throughout the pre-season & hopefully hold me in good stead to play multiple positions going forward."

McHenry ended his 2021 season with consecutive career-best performances, recording 22 and 24 disposals against the Demons and Kangaroos in Rounds 22 and 23 respectively.

The Geelong Falcons product also took home the Brian Sando OAM Trophy at Adelaide's best and fiarest night in August, earning the award for "professionalism and attention to detail".

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After not featuring at AFL level in his rookie year with the Crows, McHenry was able to play eight games under Nicks in 2020 before adding another 21 appearances to his career tally this season.

McHenry's 2021 campaign saw the promising midfield/forward record above-average numbers for contested possessions, intercept possessions ground ball gets, disposal efficiency and tackles when compared to players of his position.