RIP Harley Balic

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Albertross

All Australian
Feb 26, 2015
951
2,045
North of the border
AFL Club
Essendon
Extremely sad news. Mental Health is a b*tch if it gets a hold of you. RIP young man, free of the demons that followed you. I hope your family/friends can also find peace, knowing that you are no longer in pain.☹
 

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danster168

Club Legend
Apr 29, 2016
2,057
2,080
AFL Club
Melbourne
Rest In Peace Harley. Lost for words. Really sad and eerie to think about the inner demons he would've been struggling with and unable to overcome. Condolences to family and friends.
 

Freo Shark

Invasion of the Purple Haze
Oct 18, 2003
4,726
2,211
Perth
AFL Club
Fremantle
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Very Sad to see a young guy gripped by these demons. RIP Harley!
 

Taylor Moss

Club Legend
Suspended
Oct 1, 2021
1,050
1,357
AFL Club
GWS
The problem as sport gets more and more professionally competitive is that you end up with a situation whereby you almost have to invest everything you have in the sport in order to succeed. When that success doesn't come, what do you have to fall back on - financially, emotionally, vocationally?
Define “success”

Even by playing half a dozen games of AFL he would’ve had a lot of opportunities presented to him than the ‘normal’ 22 year old would have. He was the one who quit because he fell out of love with the game.

I honestly don’t think sport has anything to do with this particular tragedy.

Just a 5hit scenario all round.
 

kickazz

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 12, 2010
10,292
14,235
Melbourne
AFL Club
Geelong
Define “success”

Well that's up to the individual and their expectations I suppose. You are right that playing AFL is most definitely "success" in one sense - and if you get cut from the AFL you can still have a very good footy career. But there are some people that go all-in on footy and can get into strife particularly if they get injuries.
 

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Ari

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 5, 2003
12,647
1,431
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RIP Harley. :( Absolutely heart-breaking.

If anybody here is ever going through something and they want someone to chat to, I am one old bloke who is always around. Having gone through mental illness myself some years back, I can tell you it's not easy. I think from time to time all of us go through something be it a mild or extreme form of mental illness.

Always about if anyone wants someone totally neutral to their life to have a chat with. <3
 

greatwhiteshark

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 3, 2007
13,526
14,274
Perth
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West Coast
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I've seen several players fall off the rails after failing to get drafted there is no training to help deal with your footy life ending

Very sad we have got to here, the AFL have created an image of either play AFL or you are crap. What happened to being a legend at second tier level or a legend at amatuer level or just playing footy with your mates for 15 years. Anyone thinking their footy life is over because they didn't get drafted have been either sold a dream by their parents and coaches which was not realistic or they have massive issues to start with.
No ones footy life is over if you don't get drafted. If it was no one would play outside of the top level.
 

RedmanWasHere

Rarely in kitchens at parties.
Aug 23, 2010
20,715
17,879
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1641879219001.png


Harley Balic in 2015 and representing Vic Metro in the media day photo.

From left to right:

Ben Keays.
Luke Partington.
Greg Clark.
Darcy Parish.
Harley Balic.
Jacob Hopper.
Kieran Lovell.
Michael Hagan.
 

Rockford

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 22, 2006
9,517
3,976
Halls Head
AFL Club
Geelong
Suicide is the biggest cause of death of men under 40.

We as a society need to get much better with depression and how we deal with it.

RIP Harley.

See, this scares me. This is a young man who was open and discussed his mental health. I've got two boys under the age of 12. My thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.
 

RUNVS

Hall of Famer
Feb 28, 2007
44,062
52,169
Sydney
AFL Club
Sydney
RIP Harley.

See, this scares me. This is a young man who was open and discussed his mental health. I've got two boys under the age of 12. My thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.

I think the best you can do as a parent is teach your boys they are allowed to have emotions and they are allowed to express/talk about them. That sort of thing helps as it hopefully lessens the chance of them bottling up said emotions but like you said it is no guarantee.

I bet you are a great parent though as even worrying about their mental health is a positive.
 

catscollector

Premiership Player
Jun 30, 2018
4,334
5,517
AFL Club
Geelong
Just so bloody young!

Condolences to his family and immediate network of friends.
RIP Harley.
 

11kgm

Premium Platinum
Sep 24, 2014
10,153
7,054
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Perhaps even worse are the ones who are highly rated juniors who for whatever reason don't make it. Must be very tough to deal with for some
I think it's partly ego partly a lack of care by the system eat them up spit them out
 
Jul 30, 2006
2,815
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I think it's partly ego partly a lack of care by the system eat them up spit them out
Unfortunately there are academies funnelling potential AFL players, where they got told so many promises they will make an AFL player in their early teens, 20 years ago you didn't think about being drafted properly until you played teal cup. The shift has been large since the early 2000s.

You would hope that the AFL only allows clubs to pick 1, 18 year old in the draft, so kids experience working or going to uni, before they get a chance and the AFL has an academy in Canberra so potential draftees learn how to live away from home.

It's incredibly sad reading the HS article regarding Harley's troubles
 

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