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Josh Carmichael: Collingwood Football Club up-and-comer retires from AFL at 24 over ongoing concussion symptom

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
Josh Carmichael has been forced into retirement at just 24.
Josh Carmichael has been forced into retirement at just 24. Credit: Collingwood Football Club

Josh Carmichael, a 24-year-old with the Collingwood Football Club, has announced that he will medically retire following ongoing concussion symptoms.

Carmichael, who sustained a head knock during the Club’s Round Six VFL match against the Southport Sharks in May, has been unable to return to training and has been managed under strict AFL concussion protocols.

Throughout this challenging period, Carmichael received extensive medical care and support, including assessment by the AFL’s Independent Medical Panel, which recommended his retirement from Australian football.

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“The past couple of months have been a difficult and uncertain time for me but I have comfort now knowing the direction of my future, and disappointingly that is not playing Australian football,” Carmichael said in a statement.

“Footy has been a huge part of my sporting life over the years and I have loved being part of the Collingwood Football Club, but my priority is on my future and ensuring I live a full and healthy life.

“I never imagined getting drafted to an AFL club, especially one like Collingwood and I’ll be forever grateful.

“I have made so many lifelong friends along the journey which is what footy is all about.

“As for the learnings, opportunities and experiences during my time here, I will forever cherish these and hold the memories close to my heart.

Drafted from West Adelaide in the SANFL during the 2022 Mid-Season Draft, Carmichael made his AFL debut just 39 days later in Round 17 of that year.

Despite playing eight games at the highest level, Carmichael’s priority now lies in ensuring a healthy future beyond football.

Collingwood GM of Football Brendon Bolton said: “Josh’s welfare, like the welfare of all our people, has remained paramount and we commend Josh for his maturity in managing what has been a challenging time.”

“Even though Josh will no longer be a part of our AFL program, it is important that as a Club we continue to offer medical support to Josh as he transitions into the next phase of his life.”

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