HAWTHORN premiership player Trent Croad has requested a clearance from Clunes without playing a match in the Central Highlands Football League.
Croad, who joined the Magpies last season, is seeking a move to his former school club De La Salle in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.
The 32-year-old served as Clunes’ backline coach during part of the 2012 season, but never pulled on the boots for the senior side.
Croad sustained a serious foot injury in the 2008 grand final win over Geelong, which ended his career.
However, he told Melbourne radio recently that his body was good and he was “feeling that love again to play football.”
Clunes president Doug Garth told The Courier that Croad had struggled to make regular trips to the region, where his family owns property.
“(The clearance) is more personal reasons for him so he could be closer to his kids all the time,” Garth said.
“At this stage in his life he couldn’t deliver what we needed.
“It was hard on both of us. We kept on demanding more and he was struggling finding the time to give.”
Garth was hopeful when, and if, Croad moved to the region the club could rekindle their relationship.
Croad played a total of 222 AFL matches with the Hawks and Fremantle.
He was taken at pick three in the 1997 national draft, and after playing 84 games with the Hawks, was traded to Fremantle at the end of 2001.
He remained a Docker for two seasons, before returning to Hawthorn to play out the remainder of his career.