RIP Harley Balic

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serial_thrilla

🐉The 2K SFA Player🐉
Mar 25, 2014
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Rest in peace Harley. :'(


Former Fremantle midfielder Harley Balic has died aged just 25.

Balic played four games for the Dockers in 2017 after being drafted with pick 38 in the 2015 national draft.

The former Sandringham Dragons player requested a trade home at the end of the 2017 season for personal reasons, and landed at Melbourne.



Balic played in Peel Thunder’s 2016 premiership victory over Subiaco, collecting 20 disposals in the 23-point win.

Balic retired during the 2018 season.


“It was an easy decision in the end, as I’ve thought about it for a little while now,” Balic told Melbourne’s website.

“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.”

Former Fremantle teammate Harley Bennell paid tribute to Balic and fellow deceased former Docker Shane Yarran today.

The two were teammates at the Dockers after both joining before the 2017 season.
 

Van_Dyke

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Jun 7, 2015
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Former Fremantle teammate Harley Bennell paid tribute to Balic and fellow deceased former Docker Shane Yarran


simply heartbreaking to think how 2/3rds of this photo have left us far too soon. RIP Harley, simply awful, rest easy.


discussion on whether we should have taken him will be cleaned up from this thread, this is not the time nor the place to have that discussion
 
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mightymouse75

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So sad. May the young man rest in peace..love and compassion to his freinds & family.

If anybody is feeling out of sorts please reach out & talk to someone.
If you believe you have nobody to speak to feel free to PM me..
I have experienced not fitting in & feeling like I was completely isolated as a young man & it's no fun but there is light at the end of the tunnel..
 

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Freomaniac

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simply heartbreaking to think how 2/3rds of this photo have left us far too soon. RIP Harley, simply awful, rest easy.


discussion on whether we should have taken him will be cleaned up from this thread, this is not the time nor the place to have that discussion

Love Shane yarrans face on that photo!

Gutted both yarran and balic are gone. RIP
 

Scham

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Sep 19, 2004
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So sad. May the young man rest in peace..love and compassion to his freinds & family.

If anybody is feeling out of sorts please reach out & talk to someone.
If you believe you have nobody to speak to feel free to PM me..
I have experienced not fitting in & feeling like I was completely isolated as a young man & it's no fun but there is light at the end of the tunnel..

Post of the year already! Well done, well said. Thanks.
 

JBMAN

Senior List
Aug 8, 2016
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As a father and grand father, it breaks your heart when you see this happen to such a young man with his life ahead of him and the absolute despair that his parents and family would be feeling at this stage. Happens too much in today's society. R.I.P Harley.
 

WaywardSonSon

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Jun 27, 2020
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This really is tragic and that photo just further displays what a massive loss to the world this whole situation is. Rest in peace Harley and Shane, we miss you both!
 

Deathly

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Sep 20, 2014
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Anyone have access to the Hun?



Not sure if it's been posted already elsewhere, but here it is.


For a time, Harley Balic found peace by plunging into cold water.

It gave him routine and clarity, he said, and he thought it could help others too.

In late July, 2020 the former Fremantle and Melbourne player – who died on Sunday at the age of 25 – contacted News about his “30 dips in 30 days’’.

“Been a while!’’ he messaged a reporter.

“Just thought I’d flick you a message … currently doing 30 dips in 30 days at the beach to support mental health. Halfway through and posting every day on Facebook.

“These are tough times for lots of people and could be a good way to get more people involved and to continue to create awareness around mental health.’’

He added: “Hope you’re doing well mate.’’

Two weeks later in an interview at Mordialloc beach, Balic spoke about some of his difficulties since his retirement from the AFL in 2018.

He said he had been “wandering around, feeling pretty lost’’. There had been bouts of depression and low self-esteem.


1641901632276.png



Trumpeted for a time as a top-10 selection, Balic was drafted from the Sandringham Dragons with pick No 38 in 2015 and spent two years at Fremantle, playing four senior games.

A wrist injury apparently discouraged other clubs from taking him earlier.

At the time there was little doubt his family would have preferred him to be drafted by a Melbourne club.

He admitted he was a “bit of a mother’s boy’’ and was particularly close to his mother, Nancy.

On draft night his father, Eddie, jokingly said he would pay him $70,000 to stay in Melbourne.

But Balic was willing to make the move.

“At the start I was a bit worried but thinking about it all night and this morning, it’s going to be a good thing for me,’’ he said the day after the draft at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

“I won’t have all the distractions I may have here, friends, the antics, everything like that. I’ll be over there training and getting better … at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, because it depends on what you do with it (draft selection). If I can prove the clubs wrong who didn’t pick me, that’s the first thing I want to do.’’

He considered himself “one of the lucky ones’’ to be drafted, pointing out a few of his friends missed out.

Balic was troubled by the wrist injury in 2016 and twice took time away from the game in 2017, returning to Victoria.

The Dockers said he had been granted “a leave of absence’’ to deal with a personal issue.

They traded him to Melbourne ahead of 2018 and a bag of goals for Casey in the VFL early in the season suggested he would prove a good pick-up for the Demons.

But in August they announced Balic was retiring.

“It was an easy decision in the end, as I’ve thought about it for a little while now,” he told the club website.

“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.”

On his Facebook account he said it would be “selfish of me to continue my journey in the AFL with an empty passion’’. He said he was “so excited for the next chapter of my life, whatever that is’’.

Balic later told Leader he was grateful the Dockers had drafted him, but he wasn’t ready for the move interstate.

He felt isolated in Perth and had “a lot of times of weakness’’ and some “really bad moments of anxiety’’.

Balic said he would vomit before games and during training, attributing it to the pressure he put on himself to do well.

“I wanted to make my family proud, I wanted to make myself proud,’’ he said.

His return to Melbourne brought him back to the family home in Mordialloc (he had played juniors for Mordialloc-Braeside and attended Parkdale Secondary College).

He had greater support around him. But the game gave him no enjoyment.


1641901664184.png


“I was wasting away doing something I didn’t love at the time, and I think I was very immature, not mature enough to realise what I had, how lucky I was,’’ he said.

“I guess the way I left football, unfinished, left me lost in the world. That brought on depressing episodes and things like that.

“Getting to the highest level, which you’d dedicated your whole life to, and then all of a sudden being a nobody, I found that pretty challenging.’’

He tried his hand at real estate, started an electrical apprenticeship and did some youth work, helping young people with mental health problems.

But Balic spoke of his desire of get his football going again, saying he had a “new-found motivation’’ and a “fire burning within me’’.

He would not like to get to the age of 40 and think he squandered an opportunity craved by many other players.

Signing on for Parkdale Vultures in the VAFA in 2019, he was credited with more than 50 possessions in one game.

He was eyeing a return to bigger football, at one stage catching up with Frankston VFL coach Danny Ryan, who had been one of his coaches at the Sandy Dragons.

Balic liked the idea of joining his great mate Will Fordham at the Dolphins in 2021.

“I just want to get my name back out there again,’’ he said. “I’m hungry to get back to how I was playing in the WAFL. If nothing comes of it, at least I know I tried and connected socially with a few mates.

“I just want to get back to enjoying footy again, enjoying the grind — that’s something Ross (Fremantle coach Ross Lyon) always said, enjoying the grind — and working on my craft.’’

The dips into the ocean had become part of his daily routine.

“Nothing makes you feel more alive than jumping in the water when it’s eight degrees and pissing down,’’ he said. “It’s better than a coffee.’’


1641901703101.png


But nothing came of his talk about joining the VFL. Last year, in between dealing with personal issues, he popped up for a couple of games with Southern league club Keysborough.

Keysy coach Chris Smith thought him a beautiful young man and did all he could to help him off the ground, steering him into a part-time job.

Forget about football. More than anything, he wanted Balic to be happy and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Smith was crushed when told Harley Balic had died on Sunday at a hotel in Highett, just four days after turning 25.

Many others shared his grief, with one former AFL official breaking down on hearing the news.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.
 

Tonga Bob

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Oct 26, 2013
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Not sure if it's been posted already elsewhere, but here it is.


For a time, Harley Balic found peace by plunging into cold water.

It gave him routine and clarity, he said, and he thought it could help others too.

In late July, 2020 the former Fremantle and Melbourne player – who died on Sunday at the age of 25 – contacted News about his “30 dips in 30 days’’.

“Been a while!’’ he messaged a reporter.

“Just thought I’d flick you a message … currently doing 30 dips in 30 days at the beach to support mental health. Halfway through and posting every day on Facebook.

“These are tough times for lots of people and could be a good way to get more people involved and to continue to create awareness around mental health.’’

He added: “Hope you’re doing well mate.’’

Two weeks later in an interview at Mordialloc beach, Balic spoke about some of his difficulties since his retirement from the AFL in 2018.

He said he had been “wandering around, feeling pretty lost’’. There had been bouts of depression and low self-esteem.


View attachment 1309332


Trumpeted for a time as a top-10 selection, Balic was drafted from the Sandringham Dragons with pick No 38 in 2015 and spent two years at Fremantle, playing four senior games.

A wrist injury apparently discouraged other clubs from taking him earlier.

At the time there was little doubt his family would have preferred him to be drafted by a Melbourne club.

He admitted he was a “bit of a mother’s boy’’ and was particularly close to his mother, Nancy.

On draft night his father, Eddie, jokingly said he would pay him $70,000 to stay in Melbourne.

But Balic was willing to make the move.

“At the start I was a bit worried but thinking about it all night and this morning, it’s going to be a good thing for me,’’ he said the day after the draft at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

“I won’t have all the distractions I may have here, friends, the antics, everything like that. I’ll be over there training and getting better … at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, because it depends on what you do with it (draft selection). If I can prove the clubs wrong who didn’t pick me, that’s the first thing I want to do.’’

He considered himself “one of the lucky ones’’ to be drafted, pointing out a few of his friends missed out.

Balic was troubled by the wrist injury in 2016 and twice took time away from the game in 2017, returning to Victoria.

The Dockers said he had been granted “a leave of absence’’ to deal with a personal issue.

They traded him to Melbourne ahead of 2018 and a bag of goals for Casey in the VFL early in the season suggested he would prove a good pick-up for the Demons.

But in August they announced Balic was retiring.

“It was an easy decision in the end, as I’ve thought about it for a little while now,” he told the club website.

“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.”

On his Facebook account he said it would be “selfish of me to continue my journey in the AFL with an empty passion’’. He said he was “so excited for the next chapter of my life, whatever that is’’.

Balic later told Leader he was grateful the Dockers had drafted him, but he wasn’t ready for the move interstate.

He felt isolated in Perth and had “a lot of times of weakness’’ and some “really bad moments of anxiety’’.

Balic said he would vomit before games and during training, attributing it to the pressure he put on himself to do well.

“I wanted to make my family proud, I wanted to make myself proud,’’ he said.

His return to Melbourne brought him back to the family home in Mordialloc (he had played juniors for Mordialloc-Braeside and attended Parkdale Secondary College).

He had greater support around him. But the game gave him no enjoyment.


View attachment 1309333

“I was wasting away doing something I didn’t love at the time, and I think I was very immature, not mature enough to realise what I had, how lucky I was,’’ he said.

“I guess the way I left football, unfinished, left me lost in the world. That brought on depressing episodes and things like that.

“Getting to the highest level, which you’d dedicated your whole life to, and then all of a sudden being a nobody, I found that pretty challenging.’’

He tried his hand at real estate, started an electrical apprenticeship and did some youth work, helping young people with mental health problems.

But Balic spoke of his desire of get his football going again, saying he had a “new-found motivation’’ and a “fire burning within me’’.

He would not like to get to the age of 40 and think he squandered an opportunity craved by many other players.

Signing on for Parkdale Vultures in the VAFA in 2019, he was credited with more than 50 possessions in one game.

He was eyeing a return to bigger football, at one stage catching up with Frankston VFL coach Danny Ryan, who had been one of his coaches at the Sandy Dragons.

Balic liked the idea of joining his great mate Will Fordham at the Dolphins in 2021.

“I just want to get my name back out there again,’’ he said. “I’m hungry to get back to how I was playing in the WAFL. If nothing comes of it, at least I know I tried and connected socially with a few mates.

“I just want to get back to enjoying footy again, enjoying the grind — that’s something Ross (Fremantle coach Ross Lyon) always said, enjoying the grind — and working on my craft.’’

The dips into the ocean had become part of his daily routine.

“Nothing makes you feel more alive than jumping in the water when it’s eight degrees and pissing down,’’ he said. “It’s better than a coffee.’’


View attachment 1309334

But nothing came of his talk about joining the VFL. Last year, in between dealing with personal issues, he popped up for a couple of games with Southern league club Keysborough.

Keysy coach Chris Smith thought him a beautiful young man and did all he could to help him off the ground, steering him into a part-time job.

Forget about football. More than anything, he wanted Balic to be happy and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Smith was crushed when told Harley Balic had died on Sunday at a hotel in Highett, just four days after turning 25.

Many others shared his grief, with one former AFL official breaking down on hearing the news.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.
Thanks mate.
 

MadEyeEmmy

Club Legend
Sep 13, 2016
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AFL Club
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God this is so ******* sad. I came across a couple of Harley’s blogs online about his mental health issues and reached out to him on Instagram. We had a bit of back and forth chat- I won’t go into the details but he seemed really keen to get his life on track.

It’s a tough world out there, that’s for sure. Hope his family and friends can eventually make peace with what has happened. A hard road ahead for them.
 

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