Crows star Randall ruled out of AFLW final
November 10, 2022 / 9:23 pm
Adelaide have lost captain Chelsea Randall for their AFLW semi-final through a “bloody frustrating” feature of the game’s concussion protocols.
Randall and coach Matthew Clarke made their feelings clear on Thursday, the day after the AFL intervened and effectively ruled her out of Saturday’s sudden- death final against Collingwood.
It is a massive blow to the reigning premiers ahead of Saturday’s home clash at Unley Oval.
The Crows skipper passed the clinical protocols for concussion after her head knock late in Friday’s qualifying-final loss to Melbourne.
But the AFL, in conjunction with Adelaide’s medical staff, ruled her out after looking at extra vision of the incident.
Randall also was ruled out of their 2021 grand-final loss to Brisbane because of concussion, but then she had not passed the protocols.
“In this scenario, I feel it is frustrating and I am disappointed around the system and process in place because clinically I was cleared,” she said.
Clarke said it was a difficult situation given the importance of concussion management, but he also did not hide his emotions after finding out on Wednesday evening that Randall would be ruled out.
He also has mixed emotions, noting Randall is healthy.
“It’s really disappointing, really frustrating … bloody frustrating,” he said.
“Concussions are really tricky – the medical teams worldwide are trying to work out exactly the best way to manage and handle that.
“It’s an evolving process – the current practice is to place a lot of weight on the vision.”
He noted if the same incident happened at training, Randall would be playing because there would be no vision of what happened.
“In time, maybe we’ll come up with a perfect system. It’s a tricky one – really tricky,” he said.
Clarke added there was no point dwelling on Randall’s controversial omission, calling it a “slight distraction”.
“The reality is, much as we’d love to have her out there, we don’t – so now we just move forward,” he said.
Adelaide football boss Phil Harper earlier called Randall “the heart and soul of our team”, but said her health had to come first.
Randall returned from two games out because of a rolled ankle for the qualifying final.
She has captained Adelaide’s three premiership teams, the first two alongside Erin Phillips.
Randall then was sole skipper last season as the Crows beat the Demons in the grand final.
AAP (C) 2022
Adelaide captain Chelsea Randall is out of their AFLW semi-final because of a head knock. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)