Jeremy Cameron's admission about pregnant partner ahead of AFL opener

The Geelong Cats forward could be playing one half and gone the next if his partner, Indiana Putra, goes into labour.

Jeremy Cameron with partner, Indiana Putra.
Jeremy Cameron is prepared to leave Geelong's season opener mid-match if his partner, Indiana Putra, goes into labour. Pictures: Instagram/Getty Images

Geelong star Jeremy Cameron could be on field one moment and absent the next in the Cats' season-opener this weekend, with his partner Indiana Putra due to give birth. The enigmatic AFL goalkicker said he and the club had held extensive conversations about various eventualities should Putra go into labour before or during Friday night's match against Collingwood.

The moment Cameron and Putra have been waiting for is on the verge of arriving, with the couple's due date falling between rounds one and two. Cameron says if everything is normal then he'll be at the MCG, but he'll be gone at the first hint that the couple's first child is on its way.

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"I have been pretty clear with the club and we have spoken about it a fair bit that if the (labour) happens (before the match) then I won't be able to play," Cameron said. "But I am happy to go to the game (if that's not the case).

"Right now it is completely normal and it's just a waiting game. That is the hard thing about it - you never know when it will come. If the call comes at half-time, then that will be a decision that has to be made then."

Cameron was a crucial member of Geelong's dominant grand final-winning team in 2022, but it remains to be seen exactly how the Cats will shape up in their premiership defence. Fellow key forward Tom Hawkins looms as a wildcard, having missed the Cats' preseason games thanks to off-season foot surgery.

The club will also be without Joel Selwood for the first time since 2007, with the club great having announced his retirement from the AFL late last year. While coach Chris Scott has declared any imitation of the former skipper will be a 'poor' one, the Cats are optimistic they may have found a successor in Max Holmes.

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The 20-year-old missed out on last year's grand final victory thanks to lingering concerns over a hamstring injury, but his stock is high at Kardinia Park. Scott said the club took a 'real risk' by trading up in the 2020 AFL draft to select Holmes with the 20th pick.

"(Holmes) has played mainly as an outside player," he told Fox Footy. "He's got elite speed, he was a track and field athlete, but we think he's going to be more of an inside player.

"I'm not saying he's Chris Judd or Paddy Dangerfield yet, who knows, but he's got those attributes. They're the ones I admire - great out in space and quick but they can actually win the ball in traffic and burst away. I think Max has got that capacity."

Geelong coach Chris Scott speaks to his players.
Geelong coach Chris Scott says players will have to step up in the absence of club champion Joel Selwood. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Holmes enjoyed a breakout campaign last year and held down a spot in the Cats' best team, playing 18 games throughout his second season at the top level. Another Cats veteran in Hawkins could stand to miss round one, with the recently acquired Ollie Henry looming as a fit instead.

If either Hawkins or Cameron misses, it could pave the way for the former Magpie to play a key role up forward. Cameron lauded Henry's aerial ability prior to Friday's clash with Collingwood.

"What's really stood out to me is his aerial work," Cameron said of Henry, who kicked 20 goals for Collingwood last season.

"He's like a medium-type player, but he plays really tall. He loves leaping at the ball, and he has no fear in the air, which is different."

With AAP

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