GIANTS ruckman Tom Downie has announced his retirement from football.
Downie has recently spent some time away from the club to deal with a mental health issue and was placed on the long-term injury list earlier this year.
After stepping away from the club in March, Downie has decided he won’t play out the remainder of the season.
Downie was under contract to the GIANTS until the end of 2018 but the club has agreed to release him at the end of the 2017 season.
GIANTS General Manager Football Wayne Campbell thanked Tom for his contribution to the club.
“Tom joined the GIANTS as a foundation player and has had a significant impact on the club both on and off field over the past six years," Campbell said.
“Everyone at the GIANTS completely support Tom’s decision knowing it is in the best interests of his wellbeing. What Tom is dealing with isn’t unique but it does mean football is very much secondary in his life at the moment.
“Tom’s a terrific young man and a very popular member of the playing group who’ll always be welcome at the GIANTS.”
Downie said he’s looking forward to the next chapter of his life.
“I’ve been dealing with anxiety for a long period of time and retiring from football gives me the best opportunity to focus on my mental health," Downie said.
“I’d lost my passion to train and play which made it impossible to give everything that is required as a professional athlete.
“I hope that in making this decision, I can help others dealing with similar issues and make them more comfortable in speaking out.
“The club has been fantastic in how they’ve supported me and I’ve made many lifelong friends at the GIANTS.”
Downie played nine games after being selected with pick 56 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft.