Geelong captain Joel Selwood, regarded as one of the toughest players in the game, has admitted he thinks more about the potential impact of blows to the head on his long-term health as he gets older, and he has embraced the AFL’s strict new concussion rules.
The AFL on Thursday announced a mandated rest period of 12 days after a concussion, a policy it expects to be adopted at all levels of football. The move to force any concussed player to miss at least one match, even if it’s a grand final, follows the revelation that the late Richmond midfielder Shane Tuck, who died last year aged 38, was the third VFL/AFL player to be diagnosed with CTE.
Before Tuck, Cats great Polly Farmer and St Kilda star Danny Frawley were found by the Australian Sports Brain Bank to have been suffering from the disease associated with repeated head knocks.
Selwood, a three-time premiership player who is renowned for his ability to draw free kicks for head-high contact, conceded that he thought more now about what effect playing the game had on his health than he did earlier in his illustrious career.