AFL gives Sydney’s Paddy McCartin permission to use a mobile phone during games for health reasons

AFL gives Sydney’s Paddy McCartin special permission to use a mobile phone DURING GAMES as he combats chronic health problem

  • Paddy McCartin has returned to the AFL after three years battling concussion
  • The former No.1 draft pick has re-invented himself in the Swans defensive line
  • He was spotted using a mobile phone in his side’s 30-point win over Geelong
  • He requires it to manage another health issue and has been cleared by the AFL

Sydney Swans recuit Paddy McCartin has been given the all-clear after bizarre scenes on Friday night when used a mobile phone on the field in his club’s 30-point win over Geelong.

While the match was dominated by Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin kicking the 1000th goal of his career, astute viewers noticed McCartin breaking out the mobile device just before halftime.

The use of mobile devices is strictly forbidden by the AFL on the sideline, in the change rooms and especially on the field except for 10 authorised users and members of the media. 

However, it has been revealed that McCartin used the device to help manage type-1 diabetes, which he has had since he was eight years old. 

McCartin using the mobile phone on the field during the second quarter of the Swans clash with Geelong. He is using it to check his blood sugar levels to manage his type-1 diabetes

McCartin was granted an exemption by the AFL so he can communicate with a sensor patch he wears to measure his blood sugar levels for his diabetes, which he needs to do at least 10 times a day.

‘The AFL confirms Sydney Swans player Paddy McCartin is permitted to use a mobile phone diabetes app during matches for medical purposes only as it is required to monitor his blood sugar levels,’ a league spokesperson told the Herald Sun

Jeremy Howe and Jordan De Goey were fined $20,000 by Collingwood last year after they retrieved their phones during a match to update family members and club staff on their injuries. 

Fremantle’s Hayden Ballantyne received an official warning from the AFL for using a mobile phone during a preseason game in 2016 while West Coast were fined $5000 in 2010 after ruckmen Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui spoke to Perth-based ruck coach Simon Eastaugh using a mobile phone on the ground during their loss to the Kangaroos.

McCartin is on the comeback trail after his AFL career was put on hold in 2018 after repeated concussions since he was selected as the No.1 draft pick by St Kilda. 

AFL Media’s Damian Barrett praised his performance against Geelong which saw him turn in some resolute defence, particularly in the first quarter.

‘We’ve already spoken at great length and in detail how he’s got himself back, it’s a great story,’ he said.

‘He’s playing with courage, isn’t he? With the way that he is backing himself and his football brain.’

‘What a quarter he had,’ Garry Lyon said in commentary after the first period of the Geelong match at the weekend.

‘He took five intercept marks which is a fantastic performance.’

McCartin has made an encouraging comeback to AFL footy after sitting out for three years because of repeated concussions sustained during his time at St Kilda

McCartin has made an encouraging comeback to AFL footy after sitting out for three years because of repeated concussions sustained during his time at St Kilda

McCartin previously said he was treating his concussion issues just like any other injury and was looking to tick off a number of goals in his comeback. 

‘It took a long time (to get to this point). It was probably the best part of 18 months before I was back doing footy stuff without thinking at all about my head. Even then it was probably more like two years. This time last year I hadn’t played a game yet since my head knock,’ he told told

‘It’s the same as any injury really; once you get past it and build up enough confidence [you don’t worry about it]. I did a lot of rehab and as you tick each goal off you put it behind you. Once I played that was it and I got through a few games and that was sweet. I feel pretty sweet now which is good.’


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