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Seed sprouting in September

Inside the Four Walls with Seed Paul Seedsman and Taylor Walker speak to Inside the Four Walls Live.
Every time I started to waver or lose a bit of hope or direction, he seemed to be able to pick up on that
Paul Seedsman

In the cut-throat AFL industry, Brodie Smith’s pain could be Paul Seedsman’s gain this September.

Injuries have limited Seedsman to only three senior games in 2017, but the skilful wingman has returned to full fitness at the right time of the year.

Chronic hip and groin soreness in Seedsman’s left leg ruined his pre-season, and when the issue flared up on his opposite side approaching Round One he feared his season could be over before it had begun. 

“You look at the timeframe and go, well it’s already been about five months since I’ve had the initial injury … by the time I get training and playing again it’s going to be the second half of the year,” he said.

“All those sorts of things go through your mind, and then you question whether it (the injury) is even going to get right at all.”

Limited to walking at one stage, Seedsman endured months of mind-numbing rehabilitation.

The 25-year-old gradually built up his training loads and 272 days after his last game – the 2016 SANFL Semi-Final – made his comeback in the State League in June.

Seedsman credited coach Don Pyke, rehab partner Kyle Cheney and Adelaide’s High Performance Team with getting him back on the park.

“I’m so lucky (I had support from) the physios, docs, the medical team here and the coaches,” he said.

“Pykey was awesome with me, keeping me on track and having conversations throughout.

“Every time I started to waver or lose a bit of hope or direction, he seemed to be able to pick up on that.

“We had some really good chats. We put things in place to get me back on track and rewire my brain to think positively rather that negatively, which is (a mindset that is) very easy to slip into when you’re in rehab and away from the main group.”


Coach Don Pyke with Paul Seedsman after the Qualifying Final

Seedsman was called up for his first AFL game of the season against former club Collingwood at the MCG in Round 19.

The long-kicking onballer was one of the players to make way for the returning Eddie Betts, Brad Crouch and Jake Lever the next week, and had to wait until Round 23 for another chance.

He impressed in the loss to West Coast in Perth, doing enough to hold his spot for the Qualifying Final against Greater Western Sydney.

“Last year, I got injured late in the season and missed finals whereas this year I missed the first three quarters of the year and have been available for the last part,” Seedsman said.

“I was grateful to get the tap on the shoulder (against West Coast) and just knew that I had to play well and take the opportunity.”

The clash with GWS was only the second final of Seedsman’s 67-game career, and first as a Crow.

The ANZAC Day Medallist kicked a set shot from a tight angle to help Adelaide build a 12-point lead at quarter-time.

“My first final wasn’t great. We had Port Adelaide over at the ‘G’ in an Elimination Final and we (Collingwood) got touched up,” he said.

“Last Thursday night was obviously a lot better! Getting the win with the boys and playing in front of that crowd was awesome.”

After spending most of the year on the sidelines, Seedsman now shapes as an important part of Adelaide’s premiership campaign.

He’s a possible, like-for-like replacement for rebounding defender Brodie Smith, who cruelly ruptured his ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in the opening quarter against the Giants.

Smith and Seedsman are referred to as ‘twins’ because of their similar size, stature and shared line-breaking abilities.

Seedsman has played predominantly on a wing for Adelaide but has the capacity to play across half-back along with onballer David Mackay, who filled the void when Smith was felled last Thursday night. The Club also has options outside the current 22.

Seedsman said it was bittersweet knowing his friend’s injury could create greater opportunity for him.

“I was on the bench (on Thursday night) and I saw Brodie sitting behind me. I looked at him and he said, ‘No, no I’m all good’,” he said.

“Straight away I knew he wasn’t … I saw the ice on his knee. Obviously, I didn’t know the extent (of the injury) and was hoping for the best.

“It does take away a little bit from the win. You’re through to a prelim and I’ve never played in a prelim before, so you’re thinking ‘How good’s this?’ and then you look over and one of your good mates and one of the stars of the team is down.

“You feel a bit sick, but I guess we have to look at it that it opens up an opportunity and hopefully I can play that role for the team if need be.”

Honestly Paul....

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