Charlie Cameron became an instant cult figure at West Lakes as a nineteen-year-old in 2014, debuting in front of an Adelaide Oval crowd of 50,000 against Collingwood on a Thursday night. What became immediately perspicuous was his innate tackling pressure and foot speed, which had him dashing through the centre of the ground on numerous occasions. Indicative of the Crows’ hopes for Cameron, he was given the honour of wearing number 23, worn previously by club champion Andrew McLeod. Although his form was up and down throughout the 2017 season, Cameron was a vital component of Adelaide’s forward line, and showed his aerial marking prowess, a special tool for a player of his size.
Cameron dazzled Adelaide Oval in the Crows Preliminary Final win over Geelong, kicking the opening goal en route to five for the match, a career best performance. This, in addition to his game-sealing goal in the 2015 Elimination Final against the Bulldogs and his team-best performance against the Swans in a semi-final last season, confirmed Cameron as a big game player. The main knock on Cameron is his goal kicking accuracy whether it is on the run or via set shot. He is yet to master the art of slowing down to a comfortable pace before kicking a goal on the run from fifty metres out, but his ability to break the lines in the first place is so unique that, given time, he will most likely correct his issues.
Cameron has reportedly nominated the Brisbane Lions as his preferred club, given that the majority of his family and friends live in Queensland. Cameron’s manager, Clint Young, has said Cameron does not feel comfortable living in Adelaide, and that he feels there is more to life than playing football.
Unlike the situation unfolding with Jake Lever, whereby all reports relations on both sides are broken beyond repair, Cameron is believed to be seeking to return home purely for family reasons. This increases the likelihood that the Crows seek to get a deal done, although Crows football chief Brett Burton has insisted that Cameron is a ‘required player’ and would be held to his contract, which has one year remaining.
The Brisbane Lions hold picks 12, 18, and potentially 19, depending on the deal which Tom Rockliff is expected to sign with Port Adelaide. Because Brisbane has recently suggested that Cameron is not a high priority for them, the chances of Adelaide receiving pick 12 are slim. The Crows expect a late first-round pick, however, which Brisbane can provide. From an outside perspective, trading Cameron for pick 12 is a fair trade for all parties.
Charlie Cameron will play for the Brisbane Lions next season. The Crows, as much as he will exit on good terms with the playing group, do not want players at the club who do not want to be there. Considering Adelaide has reportedly offered Steven Motlop, a player who could play a similar role to Cameron, a generous offer, it would appear they are preparing for life without the speedy forward in 2018.
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