Billy Brownless under fire over interview question after AFL grand final

Cats legend Billy Brownless' interview with injured Geelong star Max Holmes did not go down well. Pic: Ch9
Cats legend Billy Brownless' interview with injured Geelong star Max Holmes did not go down well. Pic: Ch9

Geelong great Billy Brownless has reportedly sparked anger at the Cats after a questionable interview of injured star Max Holmes, following his grand final heartbreak.

Holmes was cruelly ruled out of Geelong's 81-point grand final win over the Sydney Swans on Saturday after succumbing to a hamstring injury on the eve of the decider.

'ABSOLUTE GIANT': AFL world hails retiring champion Joel Selwood

WOW: Jordan de Goey behavioural clauses come to light amid contract saga

'PURE CLASS': Dane Rampe's staggering act in runner-up speech

The wingman was left devastated on the Friday afternoon before the AFL blockbuster when it was confirmed he would play no part in the grand final, meaning Holmes missed out on receiving a premiership medal.

Holmes had played 18 games for the Cats over the course of their incredible season, and his omission from Saturday's decider would have been a tough pill to swallow.

The Geelong star was approached by Brownless for comment the morning after the grand final, during his “Roving Billy” segment on Channel 9’s Sunday Footy Show.

However, the tactless manner in which he broached Holmes' grand final heartbreak is said to have left a bad taste in the mouths of Geelong officials, as well as the player himself.

“C’mon Maxy, played all year, loved the way you went about it, could probably have a haircut,” Brownless started.

“How were you feeling, mate?”

Holmes replied: “Yeah it was a good win. Good to watch and win it.”

Brownless then proceeded to make light of the fact that Holmes was ruled out of the decider, much to the annoyance of the Cats star.

What about you, just sitting there watching it mate?” Brownless asked.

Holmes laughed before insisting: “Nah, that’s a bad question.”

Brownless: “I just wanted to know how you feel, I feel for ya.”

Holmes: “Nah I’m alright.”

Brownless: “Nah you weren’t happy with Gryan (Miers) getting a medal, he got a medal and you didn’t.

Holmes: “Nah, I’m very happy for him.

Brownless: “Nah, you’re cranky and having a go at him.”

The Herald Sun reported that Geelong officials were a "little bit upset” with how the Brownless interview unfolded, with the Cats legend admitting his mistake afterwards.

“At the time I just wanted to acknowledge him because he’s a great kid and a great player,” Brownless said.

“He probably felt uncomfortable with my question but I didn’t mean to do that. All I wanted to do was acknowledge him as being part of everything.”

Geelong skipper Joel Selwood retires from AFL

On Wednesday, the AFL world paid tribute to Geelong skipper Joel Selwood after the four-time premiership winner announced his retirement from the game.

The Cats' all-time games record holder was mobbed by teammates after kicking a fourth-quarter goal in what many believed was the first sign of the 34-year-old club champion's decision.

After 355 games for Geelong across 16 AFL seasons, including premierships in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2022, Selwood became the third club captain to retire on a flag-winning note.

Seen here, Geelong captain Joel Selwood poses with the AFL premiership trophy.
Geelong captain Joel Selwood retired from the AFL after winning his fourth premiership. Pic: Getty

Predecessors Tom Harley and Cameron Ling both called time on their own illustrious careers in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

Selwood will go down not just as a champion for Geelong but also of the AFL itself, having surpassed Hawthorn legend Michael Tuck for the most AFL finals played (40), as well as breaking Carlton great Stephen Kernahan's record for most games captained at VFL/AFL level at 226.

The six-time All-Australian has captained Geelong since 2012, and won the club's best and fairest on three occasions.

His off-field work has also won praise within the AFL community, having been this season's recipient of the Jim Stynes community leadership award.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.