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Duff and Quarters: The AFL needs to force players to have a month’s break after any concussion

On this week’s episode of The Duff and Quarters Podcast, The Sunday Times’ sports editor Glen Quartermain and The West Australian’s chief footy writer Mark Duffield urged the AFL to increase mandatory time on the sidelines for concussed AFL players.

Quartermain rocked the AFL world earlier this year after revealing footy legend Graeme ‘Polly’ Farmer had been diagnosed with stage three chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) post-mortem.

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A second deceased great of the game, Danny Frawley, was confirmed to have suffered from the condition yesterday and the pair believe the time has come to align AFL protocols with other contact codes like boxing and force players to have a month break after a concussion.

“It’s really hard in-game to assess, but post-game I think there should be an AFL appointed independent analysis of the player and if there’s any head trauma it should be that the player cannot play for a month,” Quartermain said.

“Even if it’s a grand final Duff, if you miss one game now you’re not going to care about it in 20 years when you’re mid-40s and struggling. It’s so important to get this right.

“As we’ve seen with (St Kilda’s) Paddy McCartin’s and these guys, even after a month if you’re not right that can be changed but I think a month should be the base.

Wife Anita Frawley and daughters Keeley, Danielle and Chelsea are seen during a celebration to honour the life of Danny Frawley held at RSEA Park in Melbourne.
Camera IconWife Anita Frawley and daughters Keeley, Danielle and Chelsea are seen during a celebration to honour the life of Danny Frawley held at RSEA Park in Melbourne. Credit: STEFAN POSTLES/AAPIMAGE

You don’t have to look far for examples of players whose careers have been crippled by concussion.

West Coast 2018 premiership player Daniel Venables has been battling the lasting impact of collisions since round nine 2019.

“The Daniel Venables’ head trauma, now 16 months on the sideline, our heart goes out to him,” Duffield replied.

“He’s almost the forgotten player at West Coast, I know Adam Simpson brought him up in a radio interview over the weekend. He reminded us, we were talking about Willie Rioli and other players that weren’t available and he said don’t forget Daniel Venables.”

Frawley’s wife Anita shed light on her deceased husband’s struggle prior to his death last year, which is now potentially being linked to CTE.

Quartermain hopes Anita Frawley’s courage can inspire change within the league’s player safety protocols.

Melbourne, June 28, 2004. Richmond coach Danny Frawley warms up before a training session.
Camera IconMelbourne, June 28, 2004. Richmond coach Danny Frawley warms up before a training session. Credit: JOE CASTRO/AAPIMAGE

“The point that really stuck with me was we knew the symptoms were way beyond depression for Danny.

“You’re talking about memory loss, anger, confusion, irritability and depression. There are so many ways it can morph and there’s a lot of AFL players that are potentially experiencing it right now.

“Right now CTE can only be diagnosed after death, they’re working feverishly to rectify that hut it will take some time.”

Like, review and subscribe to The Duff and Quarters Podcast wherever you listen to good audio, message for the mailbag? – send to josh.garlepp@wanews.com.au

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