Stars align for Otten after tough AFL run

Sep 29, 2017 - 7:44 AM Mitch McGovern's rotten AFL grand final luck is bittersweet, because it meant the stars have aligned for Andy Otten.

Otten did not play at all in the 2015 and 2016 seasons because of knee injuries.

The Adelaide utility made a successful return this year, playing the first 17 matches before he lost his spot in the senior team.

Then McGovern suffered a hamstring injury at training in their week off after the qualifying final win, opening the door for Otten's return in their formidable forward line.

He performed well in the preliminary final win over Geelong and after only 97 senior games since his 2008 debut, Otten could become a premiership player.

"It's unbelievable. This is a childhood dream," Otten said at Friday's grand final parade.

"I reckon it is probably for everyone that's up here.

"We've been on this road for a long time and to finally be here is a great reward for this playing group."

Otten said his fiance Emmalyn and mentor Alan Stewart, a long-time Crows recruiter and a highly-respected figure in SA football, had been massive support during the tough times.

Adelaide coach Don Pyke said whatever job they threw at Otten - back or forward - he had done what they have asked.

"It's a great story," Pyke said.

"But he worked so hard through the off-season and it's a credit to him; you do all the work, earn a spot in the team and he has given himself every chance and he gets that tomorrow.

"I'm rapt for him and I know the players are."

Captain Taylor Walker said Otten was the sort of teammate who is priceless for a grand final.

"I look forward to running out with him tomorrow because I know the character his is, he will compete and compete and compete," Walker said.

"And hopefully tomorrow he will be one of 22 cheering."

Source: AAP

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