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Concussion causes another AFL retirement, with Paul Seedsman to try migraine injections

Adelaide AFL footballer Paul Seedsman has become the latest player to concede lingering concussion symptoms have forced him to retire from the game.

Key points:

The 31-year-old has not played since an outstanding 2021 season
He said he had received medical advice to “cease all contact sport”
Seedsman is the second player this week to retire because of concussion

Seedsman, 31, has barely trained and certainly not played since he was concussed during a Crows pre-season training session in late 2021.

“I just haven’t been able to do what I needed to do to be a professional sportsman,” Seedsman said as he announced he no longer believed he could play contact sport.

“I’ve got a young family. They’re the priority. I’ve got to get myself healthy so I can look after them.”

Seedsman is the second player this week to be forced into retirement because of concussion.

Sydney defender Paddy McCartin, 27, made his announcement after suffering his most recent concussion in round four.

McCartin was the number-one pick in the 2014 national draft and played just 35 games for St Kilda before being delisted as he felt the ongoing effects of several concussions.

He was then picked up as a rookie by Sydney, returned to the AFL last season but was concussed again in April, and ended his career after 63 AFL games.

Seedsman leaves the AFL after 132 games spread across 13 seasons.

Among other continuing concussion symptoms, Seedsman has reported constant headaches, dizziness and short-term memory issues as well as depression and anxiety.

“Some days are better than others,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the last couple of months have probably been — not probably, they’ve definitely been — a lot worse than good days but, you know, the last week I’ve been feeling OK.”

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He will soon meet with a neurologist to discuss some recommendations from the AFL’s independent medical concussion panel.

One of those is trying migraine injections in a bid to give Seedsman some relief from the headaches he suffers almost daily.

“You get it once a month for six months and there’ll be some sort of rehab clinic that I’ll potentially have to go to,” he explained.

Seedsman consulted the concussion panel earlier this month and the recommendation was to “cease all contact sport”.

He said the outcome had been “on the cards for a while”.

“I haven’t run all year — I might’ve done one jog sometime in January or February and, you know, football requires you to do a bit more than that,” he reflected.

“I knew where I was at, and even if the recommendation was I could still play, I would’ve been surprised to be honest if they had said I was allowed to return.

“And I still would’ve retired anyway.”

Seedsman began his AFL journey with Collingwood after being selected with pick 76 in the 2010 national draft, and played 49 games with the Magpies before being traded to Adelaide at the end of the 2015 season.

The long-kicking wingman was part of the Crows side that lost the 2017 grand final to Richmond.

In 2021, he enjoyed his most consistent season, finishing third in the club’s best and fairest count and was named in the initial 40-man All-Australian squad.

Seedsman leaves the field with an injury early in the 2019 season.(AAP: David Mariuz)

Since then, however, his tally of games for the Crows has remained stuck on 83 because of his ongoing symptoms, and he has been on the club’s AFL inactive list since last season.

Seedsman admitted he would like to play on with the “exciting group” of players at Adelaide.

“It was alarmingly clear that there was never going to be an option,” he said.

‘Made me a much better coach’

Seedsman fronted his teammates to tell them about his decision, admitting it was “quite emotional” to talk about his concussion issues.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said the club would do everything it could to help with Seedsman’s recovery, and described him as a “real character”.

He said when Seedsman was ready, there would be discussions about a role for him at the Crows.

“There’s not many that have a footy brain like Paul does,” Nicks said.

“He made me a much better coach in that first 12 months and also made me a better person.”

Seedsman revealed he has some simple goals for the immediate future as he struggles to overcome his symptoms.

“There’s so much unknown about it — that’s something I’ve understood more as I’ve gone along,” he said.

“I’d like to see the end of it and get back to being healthy and the person that I was.”



Author: Russell White