Welcome to the Adelaide Crows AFLW Dynasty

As the final siren sounded on Saturday afternoon at Adelaide Oval, the Demons fell to their knees, Erin Phillips put her fists up to the sky and the mighty Adelaide Crows dynasty was declared.

The first AFLW dynasty at that.

"We've got three, baby!" shouted star midfielder Ebony Marinoff celebration before embracing teammates in all the post-match glory. In the five premierships awarded in the AFLW's history thus far, Adelaide have won three of them: 2017, 2019 and 2022.

While Melbourne headed into the 2022 decider on a fairytale narrative arc -- the elusive premiership medal for captain Daisy Pearce, a pioneer of the game, leading her team that get so close to victory each year before it evades them -- the Crows' rode a story of simply reigning supreme.

They've been minor premiers in each year since the conference was abandoned in 2020 and have featured in four of the five Grand Finals that have been played, hosting three of them by finishing ahead of their opposition on the home and away ladder.

They now have six players three-time champions on their list - Anne Hatchard, Marinoff, Justine Mules, Erin Phillips, Chelsea Randall and Stevie-Lee Thompson. To become a premiership player once is a hard feat, let alone doing it three times within six years.

Don't forget about two-time premiership coach Matthew Clark.

Their dominance isn't one of chance or luck. Their Grand Final performance is testament to how good they really are. Melbourne are a skilful, fast and clever team with depth across the board.

Yet, they were suffocated by Adelaide's defensive pressure, ability to lock it in their forward half, and disciplined, clean skills. The home side knew exactly what they needed to do to win, and they did it.

No matter how crafty and gallant the Demons were, Adelaide were able to counter. Just as it's been for every team that have gone up against them this season.

The South Australians only lost one game this year, and it was to the Western Bulldogs by one point in what was considered the upset of the season. And in their entire history of the competition, they have only ever lost one final: last year's Grand Final to the Brisbane Lions.

It's as Melbourne Demons captain Daisy Pearce said in her post-match interview: "They set the bar [for the competition].

"They've led the way since the beginning and they just continue to improve year on year... they just continue to set the bar."

Much of this dominance comes from having a slew of expert players that boast diversity in skillsets. The defensive line, spearheaded by Randall, is almost impenetrable with players able to intercept and mow down the opposition.

The midfield has a renowned dynamic duo in Hatchard and Marinoff, who polled second and third in the 2022 league's Best and Fairest count respectively. Not to mention the resilient pressure that Rachelle Martin contributes week in, week out as a more than handy support act.

Then up forward, Phillips is a crafty and reliable kick, Danielle Ponter is a classy ball winner and dependable boot and Ash Woodland continues to find avenues to goal, taking out this season's leading goalscorer.

Symbolic of this star power is that six players were selected in 2022 All-Australian extended squad, while four others were selected in the AFLW Players' association 22Under22 squad - Ponter, Teah Charlton, Eloise Jones and Montana McKinnon.

They're also a team of one-percenters; notorious for their pressure and team-effort footy.

A lot of this stardom, which lays the ground for Adelaide's success, could be attributed to them being the sole South Australian-based club, getting the pick of the state's talent and having no interstate club to compete with.

It is a fair and justified point - especially as Victoria currently houses eight of the 14 clubs. Plus, clubs such as Brisbane and Fremantle have been decimated by rival state clubs coming in during expansion. In 2019, the Dockers lost nine players and the Lions lost 11, including stars such as Dana Hooker and Kate McCarthy.

Yet it's not all in the South Australia water - it's also in what the club has built and continues to build. Rivalling the sole state argument is the one of team culture - which deserves equal, if not more, credit.

There is a common perception of, 'Well, why would you want to leave the Adelaide Crows?' and that's been proven by players choosing to stay at the premiership-winning side, despite other clubs calling.

Adelaide's head of women's football, Phil Harper told The Age that in previous expansion years "many players like Anne Hatchard were offered more than what we pay to join expansion teams, but they enjoyed being here more than a few extra dollars".

Hatchard was also quoted, saying the club has created a culture that fosters genuine care for each other. "It's like we're family so you can't tear us apart," she said.

"In the first year we built a great culture and we've kept that core group of girls all the way through."

That great culture laid the foundations for the empire to be built. As Clark said in the post-match press conference: "To win today was massive, obviously for this group, but the reality of getting the third premiership in a pretty short space of time does set a benchmark there and cements the legacy of those who have come before us."

When asked about how the next expansion will affect them and certain players' fates, notably with Port Adelaide coming in and Erin Phillips in question, the Adelaide coach was just proud of what they'd achieved at the club. That it doesn't matter where they go, they've been part of the Crows' story and their success.

"Erin [Phillips] and Chelsea [Randall]... they drove the culture and the standards and they taught 'em how to be professional and how to be good," he said. "When we talk about cementing the legacy, it's a large part her [Erin's] legacy and Chelsea's as well."

What happens now -- especially with the Power coming in as an expansion team next season -- is anyone's guess.

But what is for certain is that this dynasty is written into the history of the game. It's in beginning, they were the years of the Adelaide Crows.