Former AFL high-flyer Shaun Smith says a heavy hit at Newlyn effectively ended his long and successful football career.
In The Courier's new Off The Record podcast, the now 51-year-old has opened up about his lifetime of concussions and just how bad his health has suffered as a result of repeated blows to the head.
Smith spent three seasons with the Cats in the Central Highlands Football League and a bad incident in round two of the 2011 season essentially ended his playing days.
"I was crook for probably five months, four months. Just not feeling right. I tried to play again about three weeks later, as you do because I was uneducated at the time, and I felt terrible. It was the worst game I ever played," Smith said.
"That was basically the end of my career and that's when the alarm bells went off..."
"Concussion: Football's Black Hole" explores the issues players have faced and how some people are pushing for change in the game we love.
The son of former VFL player and well-known Ballarat footballer Alan "Dizzy" Lynch is part of the discussion, as is Lake Wendouree premiership captain and past coach Gavin Webb, who talks openly about how his heavy knocks continue to bother him long after retirement. Ballarat-based research analyst Milli Bilson also offers an insight into just how bad the health problems can be for players across all levels of the sport.
The new Off The Record podcast, as well as the other six in the series, can be found by visiting thecourier.com.au/sport/off-the-record