From VFL Website
Ben Crowe is a driven man. He doesnâ€™t like spin and heâ€™ll only talk about the positives if they really are positive, not straws clutched at amongst an ocean of negatives as Paul Kennedy finds out.
So while the Dolphins may well have improved greatly in their second round match against Sandringham and nearly pinched a victory, for Crowe it isnâ€™t yet good enough. â€œTo be honest we didnâ€™t have enough players carry the load,â€ he said.
He is talking about the Dolphins habit of switching off in patches and letting the opposition jump away to a match-winning position. Those lapses cost his team as many as seven games last season, and Crowe watched the game against the St Kilda-aligned Zebras slip away in 15 minutes surrounding three quarter time.
â€œItâ€™s frustrating,â€ he said. â€œAfter round two last year I thought we were going to have a good year. Then to not win another game was very frustrating.
â€œMy plan is for the Dolphins to win a flag. It might seem a bit far fetched at the moment but I am going to stick at it and see how we go. I am not going anywhere, I hope to be playing finals in the next year or two and once weâ€™re there weâ€™ll see what we can achieve.â€
While Crowe is sick of losing, he is full of belief that there is talent enough at Frankston Park. â€œWeâ€™ve got some really good players to come back in. Once we get a few blokes back weâ€™ll be a very hard team to play against for sure.
â€œWhen we get back Onga (Chris Ongarello), Westy (Marc Westcott), (Paul) Rogasch to really strengthen up the backline, we can distribute some other guys around the field and weâ€™ll definitely be a good team.â€
Croweâ€™s desire for premiership success dates back to his time at junior club Somerville. He was a key figure in the clubâ€™s 2004 under 18 flag, before spearheading the Stingrays drive to the 2005 TAC Cup Grand Final.
The Stingrays lost to the Gippsland Power by 13 points. That result still cuts deep for Crowe.
He then headed to Frankston Park but didnâ€™t last long. â€œI had glandular fever and I didnâ€™t really feel part of the group. My mates talked me back down to Somerville and I played there for a few years, enjoyed it and got it out of my system. Now I want to have a crack at the VFL and see how good I can be.â€
He returned to the Dolphins in 2009 and stayed through the mass-exodus of 37 players following that year. Now he is vice captain and the social centre-point of the club.
No question the club benefits greatly from his enthusiastic leadership, his young teammates need him on the park more often and in better shape. â€œI donâ€™t think I have ever played to my full capacity, to be honest,â€ Crowe admitted frankly.
â€œBut right now the body is starting to feel good, and I hope by about round ten Iâ€™ll be really fit and starting to play some great footy.
â€œIâ€™ve got some great mates at Frankston, guys like Mitch Bosward and Luke Potts, and I want to win some games of footy with those guys.â€
Given how close he went to carrying the Dolphins to victory against Sandringham in his first senior game, a fully fit Crowe will be a scary prospect for the rest of the VFL.