InDaily

Adelaide's independent news

Support

Bulldog Boyd steps away from the game with depression

Football

UPDATED | Western Bulldogs premiership hero Tom Boyd is taking an indefinite break from the AFL after being diagnosed with clinical depression.

Comments
Comments Print article

The 21-year-old has been treated by the Bulldogs medical staff, who will help determine when he is ready to resume training and playing.

The Bulldogs face the Crows on Friday night.

“Tom has managed his illness in conjunction with the Bulldogs’ medical staff for an extended period, and will continue to receive the club’s full support as he works through this challenge,” the Bulldogs said in a statement.

“Tom has indicated a desire to return to playing as soon as possible, and the club will work closely with Tom and the Bulldogs’ medical staff to determine a suitable time for reintegration into the training program.”

Coach Luke Beveridge told media this afternoon the pressure associated with being a highly-paid No.1 draft pick has weighed on the premiership hero.

“I think over a significant period of time Tom has been grappling with this,” Beveridge said.

“It’s been a real challenge for him… obviously he is a young man who through circumstances has become a high-profile player well before his time.”

Beveridge said he asked Boyd several times last year how he was coping with the fevered speculation around his onfield performances, only for the player to assure him it wasn’t a big issue.

“But in hindsight I think he was putting on a brave face,” said Beveridge.

“Ultimately it was a pretty incredible feat or an amazing effort for him to finish last year the way he did under all that pressure.

“We marvelled at that really.

“It was a great thing for him to do and I think at that point in time we probably felt it was onwards and upwards from here.

“But the mind, mental health, having that sort of clinical imbalance there at times, it’s a constant struggle.

“He hasn’t been able to get on top of it fully this year and it’s affecting him to the point that he’s needed some time out.”

The Bulldogs have committed to providing an extensive support framework to help Boyd manage his illness.

Boyd joined the Bulldogs before the 2015 season on a six-year, $6 million deal from the GWS Giants, who had selected him with pick No.1 in the 2013 national draft.

Boyd’s teammate Travis Cloke is also taking time away from the sport after going public last month on his battle with depression.

Boyd came of age in the 2016 grand final victory over Sydney, where he kicked three goals and was just shaded by Jason Johannisen for best-afield honours.

But he has struggled to emulate that form in 2017, kicking just seven goals in 11 matches for the 10th-placed Bulldogs.

Australian readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

-AAP

We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.

InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.

Powered by PressPatron

Comments

Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Football stories

Loading next article