Main content

Harris Andrews counting his lucky stars

Seven months after a horrific clash with Jeremy Cameron that left a small bleed on the Harris Andrews' brain, the Lions defender has revealed he worked with Brisbane's psychologist before taking the field again.

The errant elbow from Cameron seven months ago was one of the most graphic incidents from the 2018 season and left the Brisbane full-back concussed on the Gabba turf and requiring a stint in the hospital for treatment. 

He missed four games and returned to play the final five matches of the season.

Speaking to AFL.com.au at the Lions' pre-season camp in Hobart, Andrews said his training had gone without a hiccup and conceded he had been "very, very lucky".

"I've been very lucky to not have any ongoing symptoms."

While there was a host of opinions at the time of the incident about when Andrews should return to the field, the Lions leader said his only concern was his family.

"It obviously was pretty scary," he said. 

"The scary part was the genuine fear from my family, my mum and dad, brother, girlfriend, they were all obviously very worried.

"I knew it was a freak accident and there was a lot of questions asked when I came back and played a few games, but I've played 15 or 16 years of footy and it's the worst thing that's happened to me so the chances of it happening again are very, very slim.

"I certainly did a little bit of work in that period I wasn't playing with the Club psychologist and the coaches.

"I did a bit of work, technique and mentally, being able to put myself in that position again and realising it was a freak accident and probably wouldn't happen again.

"Nothing is going to change the way I play football.

"If I find myself in that position I'll absolutely be going for that footy again and having no second thoughts.

"It was obviously scary at the time, but I feel like I've moved on from it."

Andrews had no time to dwell. In his return match against Geelong in Round 19 he was faced with a similar, back-with-the-flight situation and didn't hesitate to spoil.

Despite missing the month of action Andrews still had a good enough season to earn selection in the 40-man All Australian squad.

View this post on Instagram

Vein game is strong 💪🏻 #Uncaged

A post shared by Brisbane Lions (@brisbanelions) on

 

The 22-year-old says he can get better though, citing a post-season chat with coach Chris Fagan as the catalyst for a pre-season of continued development.

"The greatest point of improvement for me would be some more intercept marking," he said.

"We saw in the Grand Final with Jeremy McGovern coming across and taking marks and winning the ball back for his team, the value that brought. That's something I need to do to keep evolving my game.

"There's going to be times when I make the wrong decision, maybe sometimes I should spoil and sometimes I should mark, but I'll try and limit those errors as much as I can.

Andrews said the addition of Marcus Adams, the development of Josh Walker into a key defender and the ascension of Darcy Gardiner could potentially allow him the freedom to play away from the opposition's best forward.

"We feel like we've built a strong unit down there and built some good consistency.

"We have some good chemistry."

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs