Demon Clark retires
Mitch Clark. Pic: Getty Images

Melbourne forward Mitch Clark has retired from elite-level football after a struggle with depression, the club announced this afternoon.

The WA product was granted indefinite leave by the Demons earlier this season after being diagnosed with clinical depression.

The club said he has now informed them he will be unable to commit to returning to a full-time career in football.

Clark’s retirement is effective immediately.

Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said the club fully supported the 26-year-old’s decision.

“Mitch’s health has been the priority in this situation and after assessing all potential options, Mitch decided it was best for him to retire from AFL Football,” he said.

“The club has been supporting Mitch throughout his illness, providing the best resources to assist him in his rehabilitation.

“We will continue to support him throughout the next phase of his life.”

Clark played 15 games in an injury-riddled two seasons at the Demons.

Prior to that, he had played 82 games for Brisbane, who selected the East Fremantle junior with pick No.9 in the 2005 national draft.

In a statement from the Demons, Clark said he was thankful for the way they had handled his injury and illness.

“I just want to say thank you to the Melbourne Football Club, firstly for giving me the chance to play for them and secondly for taking care of me during my time there,” he said.

“Everyone at the club has been so supportive of me during some very challenging times, which I will always be appreciative of.

“Finally I want to say thank you to the players and members for being there for me.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t out on the field more, but with my injuries, it just wasn’t to be.

“I am very grateful for everything Melbourne has done for me. I will always consider myself a Melbourne player and a Melbourne person.”

The West Australian

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