Cats won't change kamikaze Joel

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 26 Februari 2013 | 12.50

Joel Selwood is a "ticking time bomb" for head trauma according to Greg Williams. Picture: Mike Dugdale Source: Geelong Advertiser

Tom Hawkins marks strongly in front of Josh Hunt at Geelong training. Picture: Mike Dugdale Source: Geelong Advertiser

GEELONG won't ask Joel Selwood to change the way he plays despite warnings of head trauma from repeated concussions.

Brownlow medallist Greg Williams described Selwood as a walking time bomb because of his fearless head-first attack on the ball.

Williams has revealed he is suffering from a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated knocks during his career with Geelong, Sydney and Carlton.

"He gets knocked out a couple of times a year and gets stunned that many times that the club has to protect him because he can't protect himself," Williams said.

"He is a champion player and courageous, but he is too courageous for his own good.

"If he keeps getting concussed, it's a huge issue for him in life and they have do to something about it."

But Geelong assistant coach Dale Amos said today the Cats wouldn't ask Selwood to change the way he plays.

"You can't change the way Joel plays. That's the way he is," Amos said at Geelong training today.

"The way they adjudicate the game, in terms of contact to players, is as good as it's ever been. It's much safer than it ever was.

"So we trust that the game will enable guys to play the way they are, because we all admire Joel.

"He's the captain of our footy club for a reason. He leads by example, and I think everybody admires the way he plays."

While Williams said players in his era would be considered "wimps" if they didn't keep playing after a head knock, Amos said times had changed.

"What was once seen to be brave and macho is quite different now," Amos said.

"Everybody in the industry is much more educated, and the players are no different.

"They report how they're feeling, and their consultations with the medical staff or the physios are quite extensive, so I think players are quite in-tune with how they feel."

AFL's concussion headache

And he said clubs couldn't take "short cuts" with concussed players.

"You just can't cheat the system anymore with those sorts of things," Amos said.

Meanwhile, the Cats will welcome back premiership stars Paul Chapman and Andrew Mackie for its NAB Cup clash against Adelaide on Saturday.

Amos said the pair were "fit and ready to play" after being rested for Geelong's trip to Perth for Round 1 of the pre-season competition.

He said Chapman was raring to go and was pushing for more midfield time.

"He's had a good injury free pre-season and in terms of his preparation it couldn't have gone any better. He's looking forward to playing, as most the senior guys are this time of year, and he's ready to go," Amos said.

Amos said Mathew Stokes (ankle) and Josh Hunt (quad) were making steady progress from injury but would not play against the Crows.

Injured ruckman Hamish McIntosh is also close to a return to training after under-going knee surgery.

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