You only get one debut as a professional sportsman, and today was all set up to be a day to remember for Limavady's Callum Brown.
The 20-year-old from the Na Cúnna club was named as a sub (a medical sub to be exact) for the GWS Giants in their game this morning against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.
Good luck to Na Cúnna’s very own Callum Brown on making his AFL debut this weekend for @GWSGIANTS
A proud day for Callum, his family and our club!
We’re all behind you and will be supporting from home. Well done!
— Limavady Wolfhounds GAC (@nacunnaclg) May 28, 2021
This morning, the club did the 'jumper presentation' where Brown received his match-day shirt. It was all set to be a banner day for Brown. Unfortunately, his debut was marred by a very odd rule.
Callum Brown receives his debut jumper 🧡 pic.twitter.com/IsqTMRmBFR
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) May 29, 2021
On the day before the 2021 season started, the AFL created a new Medical Sub rule which allows teams to name a 23rd man to the roster who can be brought on to replace injured players who will be unable to play in the next 12 days.
Late in the game, Brown was all set to replace injured teammate Shane Mumford. However, Mumford talked his medical team out of replacing him and Brown did not get on the pitch.
Regardless, today will be marked as Brown's AFL debut.
The Fox Footy commentators were raging at the law that sees Brown make his official AFL debut without actually playing a second of matchtime.
“What about the emotions of Callum Brown - he’s 20 years of age, he’s from Ireland, his parents and his family have got up at 5am in the morning (GMT), they’ve done the jumper presentation during the week. It is terrible,” said co-commnetator Kelli Underwood said.
Commentator Gerard Healy called the rule a 'nonsense'
"You should not be having kids make their bloody debut sitting on the bench and everybody turns up to the ground and the kid doesn’t get on.
"It’s just a nonsense."
Brown is a massive talent and he'll obviously make a proper debut for the Giants in no time. It's just a pity that on his professional debut, he didn't actually get on the playing field.
@GWSGIANTS You guys did wrong by Callum Brown today. Should have let him play.
— Gremlin Girl (@sausageeyeroll) May 29, 2021
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