'It is scary': Incredible AFLW interview stuns footy fans

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Adelaide Crows captain Chelsea Randall has been praised for her vocal stance in support of the AFLW's concussion rules, after copping a head knock in last week's preliminary final against Melbourne. Pictures: Getty Images
Adelaide Crows captain Chelsea Randall has been praised for her vocal stance in support of the AFLW's concussion rules, after copping a head knock in last week's preliminary final against Melbourne. Pictures: Getty Images

There have been countless examples of footballers attempting to overcome a heartbreaking injury so they can play an AFL grand final - but Adelaide's Chelsea Randall won't be one of them.

The Crows earned their place in this weekend's AFLW grand final against the Brisbane Lions thanks to their preliminary final win over Melbourne, but that triumph came at a cost. 

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Randall, the Crows' dual-premiership captain and three-time All Australian selection was ruled out of the grand final after being concussed in a clash with Melbourne's Eliza McNamara.

The first quarter knock immediately ruled Randall out under the AFL's recently introduced mandatory 12-day rest period - not that the 29-year-old is complaining.

In an impressive interview for the Adelaide Crows' website, Randall said it would send a terrible message to the grassroots footy community if she attempted to play through her concussion and risk doing serious damage to body.

Footy fans have lauded Randall's stance, with the Crows star citing an incident from nearly 10 years ago in which a young man died on the field after playing on against medical advice, as part of the reason why she felt the need to take responsibility.

“I decided not to take any further action because what kind of message would that be sending to our grassroots football?” Randall said. 

“Because concussion is serious, it is scary.

“For me personally, it’s not to scare anyone but rather educate people. When I was 20, I was watching an E-Division grand final and a young man died in front of my eyes. 

"The week prior he’d been concussed, he went to seven different doctors, he got an approval to play, he was the captain of his team. He received a normal bump at a centre bounce and he never got back up – so it is quite a scary thing.

“I decided to not take further action because, one, that story but it’s an important message that we send at grassroots footy as well.”

AFL stars praise Chelsea Randall's concussion stance

With the lingering effects of concussion dominating AFL discussions this season, particularly in the wake of the CTE-linked deaths of former players Danny Frawley and Shane Tuck, Randall was highly praised for her stance.

Several AFL players took to Twitter to share Randall's interview, with fellow Crow Tom Doedee applauding her honesty.

“Not sure anyone would’ve handled this better than @randall_chelsea has. An absolute credit to her character + leadership," Doedee wrote.

Randall's Crows teammate Marijana Rajcic described her as a 'true champion'.

"She would do anything at anytime for any member of our @CrowsAFLW family if needed. Courageous. Selfless. Inspirational. A TRUE Champion," Rajcic wrote.

A raft of fellow players and staff from rival clubs also praised her work.

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Randall was captain when Adelaide claimed the inaugural AFLW premiership in 2017 and shared the captaincy with Erin Phillips when the Crows took the 2019 crown.

This year, Randall took the captaincy solo again and said she was incredibly proud of her teammates.

"I don't have kids but I can imagine what it would be like watching a young son or daughter driving off as an 18-year-old and going off into the world, knowing you've done everything you possibly can to support them," she said.

"That's how I feel, like a proud parent.

"One thing I'm proud of in our group is that when an opportunity arises they embrace it and they don't take it for granted.

"They've shown that all season so I have no doubt they'll do just that (in the grand final)."

With AAP

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