A GAME of golf with Andrew Gaff helped Fremantle young gun Andrew Brayshaw move on from the sickening punch that left the Docker with a broken jaw and displaced teeth.
The day after the incident, West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett said the pair had previously played golf together.
Brayshaw said that was wrong but a recent game, organised by his elder sibling and Eagle Hamish, helped quell any lingering tension.
“My brother Hamish organised a little meet-up when I was back in WA. We actually played a round of golf,” Brayshaw told reporters on Monday.
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“I know there was speculation that we’d played one before, which we hadn’t, so we eventually did.
“I just got to know him as a bloke a bit more. It was good to play that game.”
Brayshaw, who turns 19 on Thursday, has put the incident behind him.
“The last month really, I haven’t thought about it one bit,” Brayshaw said.
“I haven’t had any check-ups for a while, haven’t had any surgery, haven’t had any pain in my mouth or my jaw, so I’ve just been focused on getting fit, putting on weight and I’ve definitely moved on.”
When the two sides clash for what is sure to be a spiteful derby in round four next year, Brayshaw doesn’t want any ill-feeling directed towards Gaff from Dockers supporters.
“I wouldn’t say boo West Coast players or Andrew Gaff. I’d just say cheer us on louder. I think that’s what West Coast will be doing, cheering their players on, so it should be a great game,” Brayshaw said.
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After an initial period when he could consume only liquefied food, Brayshaw can have whatever he wants and has eaten steak.
However, he has five teeth that aren’t “responsive”. They will require ongoing testing and a meeting with his dentist in December might shed more light regarding whether they will come good, although his youth should give him an advantage in experiencing a full recovery.
Not that Brayshaw is overly fussed.
“At the moment, they’re not really responsive but they look alright. I can still smile,” Brayshaw said.
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He said he doesn’t have any fears about getting back into contact work, having worked with a club psychologist to overcome those doubts.
“We’re working through the incident that’s happened. Hopefully it won’t really have a long-lasting effect on me,” Brayshaw said.
“Obviously there’s some short-term things, like checking up with the dentist, but long-term, my footy will be fine.”
The advice of Dockers dietician Jade Sedgman meant he confined his weight loss to 0.5kg.
His focus now is on bulking up and improving his running so the No.2 pick from last year’s NAB AFL Draft can put forward his claim to replace Lachie Neale in the midfield.
“I’ll definitely be having a go,” Brayshaw said.
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“Obviously, (Lachie was) one of our starting mids so there’s going to be that role open. Now there’s a bit of opportunity, we’ll see some of our younger guys get some time in there.
“I know Connor Blakely’s been talking about coming through the midfield a bit more, so there’s a lot of guys who are really looking forward to having a go at that spot.”
Seeing his former housemate Neale leave for Brisbane was difficult.
“We talked through it. Even though I was pretty devastated that he was going, I sort of understood why he was. I think that’s best for him and his family,” Brayshaw said.
Brayshaw will live with a couple of others from his draft class in Adam Cerra and Hugh Dixon, with plans to move in with his brother Hamish at some point.