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Western Bulldogs Youngster Aiden O’Driscoll Retires Due to Head Injury

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Western Bulldogs teenager Aiden O’Driscoll, brother of Fremantle‘s Nathan and Emma O’Driscoll, has made the difficult decision to retire at the young age of 18 due to a severe head injury sustained during a pre-season training session earlier this year.

The club announced that after extensive evaluations and consultations, including input from an Independent Medical Concussion Panel, O’Driscoll has been advised to step away from contact sports for the sake of his long-term health and well-being.

Unfortunately, O’Driscoll’s premature retirement adds to a growing list of players leaving the AFL due to head injuries, including Angus Brayshaw, Nathan Murphy, Paddy McCartin, Paul Seedsman, Marcus Adams, and Max Lynch in recent years.

Despite not having played at the AFL level, O’Driscoll displayed remarkable speed and athleticism during the AFL Draft Combine last year, where he set impressive records in the 20m sprint and 2km time trial.

The diminutive winger, standing at 175cm, drew inspiration from Sydney star Errol Gulden, whom he idolizes for his skill and playing style.

At the time of his draft, Aiden O’Driscoll’s exceptional athletic abilities were lauded by Western Bulldogs’ recruitment manager Dom Milesi, who described him as the standout athlete in his draft pool.

Coach Luke Beveridge expressed concerns over O’Driscoll’s health and safety, especially in light of recent retirements due to head injuries, underscoring the importance of prioritizing player welfare and long-term health above all else.

Rachel Adams

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