Collingwood veteran Dayne Beams has taken an indefinite break from the AFL to concentrate on his mental health.
Star Collingwood midfielder Dayne Beams has stepped away from the AFL indefinitely to concentrate on his mental health.
Beams played nine games with the Magpies this year after returning from a stint with Brisbane, but did not feature after round 11 as he took a break to deal with mental health issues.
“Trying to improve my quality of life and meet the demands of playing and training for football at the elite level continues to be a struggle,” Beams said in a club statement released on Friday.
“My health and football have come to feel like competing priorities, which is not a position that is helping or enabling me to meet my responsibilities.
“I have been trying to meet this challenge for a number of years but, with a series of debilitating recent injuries and my mental health a work in progress, I have reached a point where I know that stepping away from football is necessary.
“I want to thank all who have supported me and my family. I look forward to a brighter future.”
Beams described himself as a “broken man” in a heartfelt social media post made soon after the club announced he would take indefinite leave in early July.
He returned to the club later that month but was still hampered by a hip injury that required surgery.
The 29-year-old stepped down as captain of the Lions last year as he struggled to come to terms with the death of his father.
The Pies’ second-round pick in 2008 was traded to the Lions after the 2014 season to be closer to his dad and returned to Collingwood during last year’s trade period.
Pies chief executive Mark Anderson praised Beams for his courage and pledged ongoing support.
“Dayne has made a difficult and brave call that we support completely,” Anderson said.
“Collingwood will continue to support and assist Dayne, his wife Kelly and their children as Dayne works towards a return to full health.”
“Dayne and his family have asked that their privacy now be respected. As such, Collingwood will not be making further comment.”
If you’re struggling with your mental health, reach out to beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. If life is in immediate danger, call 000.