Harley Balic has quit the AFL, having lost his love for the game. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Harley Balic has quit the AFL, having lost his love for the game. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Shock retirement by 21-year-old leaves AFL side stunned

MELBOURNE midfielder Harley Balic has made the shock decision to retire, effective immediately, from the AFL.

The 21-year-old moved to Melbourne prior to the 2018 season but failed to make the senior side, playing for VFL affiliate Casey Scorpions.

He played four games for Fremantle in 2017 before returning home after being traded in return for the 65th pick.

His decision, as he explained, was made after he lost the passion for the game.

"It was an easy decision in the end as I've thought about it for a little while now," he told Melbourne Media.

"It's something I'm not going to regret and I'm very appreciative to Melbourne for letting me come to the club for a second chance.

"I've always loved football, but my heart's not in it and everything ends up being a grind and I think it's just the right thing to do.

"The (club's) VFL and AFL (teams) are both going to be successful this year and it's something I'd love to be a part of, if I loved it, but unfortunately I don't and it's time to go out into the real world and see what else is out there for me."

Balic's AFL career began when he was selected with the 38th pick in the 2015 national draft by Fremantle.

Injuries cruelled his time in the game and he managed to take the field only four times despite some impressive outings in the VFL.

- with AAP



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