In The News|
Depressed Lovett to bounce back
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
remains confident Bomber forward Andrew Lovett has the
worst of his battle with depression behind him and is
optimistic his exciting charge will be 'happy by
Lovett's private struggle became public on Tuesday with
a back page story in the Herald Sun revealing the
23-year-old had endured a difficult year in which he was
confronted with a series of distressing personal
The article claimed Lovett was now 'back on track' after
overcoming a reliance on alcohol and was living with
club fitness coach John Quinn.
Sheedy said it was a credit to Lovett for being able to
turn things around and that the role of club coaches in
situations such as this has become more significant.
that's where life is for a lot of sports people, and
people in general to be quite honest. One of the
difficulties obviously is you know your life is out
there, it's challenging everybody, and it just seems to
be society, isn't it?" Sheedy said.
"When it comes into a football environment, or another
sporting environment, the coaches, all of us, have to
sit back and make sure that we can help people through
"In Andrew Lovett's case, it's been a tough and
difficult year for him. I didn't realise that was going
to come out this morning in the paper, but fair enough
because we've worked down that path and it's been a very
good effort for him to get back on track."
Sheedy also said Lovett's case wasn't exclusive and it
was up to the leaders at a club to ensure the player in
question receives the treatment they require.
"I would say every club would have two or three players
who are going to go through difficulties every year, and
it's up to us as coaches and leaders in a sporting
environment to make sure that we can help them through
that period," he said.
"Most women will tell you men don't grow up until
they're 27, 28, 29 anyway, so whether it's going through
tough times in society … that's part of the coaching job
The Essendon coach said Lovett would have off-season
goals such as preparing his body – which is currently
overcoming a hip operation and a hand complaint – for
the International Rules tour of Ireland in October to
help sustain his recovery.
"He'll be put up for All-Australian selection and the
tour to Ireland, so he's got to get ready for that. He
may not make it, but at least the other selectors are
keen to look at him so he's got to get himself ready for
that," he said.
"It gives a focus for a young person who came off a
rookie list and came out of down the road here, went to
the local school down here at Preston, and is probably
one of the local heroes."
On another matter, Sheedy said embattled forward Dean
Rioli was a certain starter to play his 100th career
game in this Saturday night's clash with Richmond.
In response to reports Rioli is considering playing on
next year, Sheedy said he didn't think it was the best
outcome for the man he calls a 'freakish talent' who has
battled injury throughout his career.
"He probably would like to (play on), but I don't think
that would be wise because I know the difficulty he has
had with his injuries," he said.
"He's got another year on his contract so he's got to
sit down and work that out with the club, but I think
that in the end, 100 games is a pretty good achievement
to come off the Tiwi Islands.
"Not many 100-game players come off the Tiwi Islands in
the AFL, and he may be the first one."
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