ANOTHER Geelong player has announced his retirement, with midfielder Sam Blease hanging up his boots.
The 24-year-old, who played 33 AFL games for Melbourne and one for the Cats, has been unable to play since suffering a head knock during a VFL game against Essendon on July 25.
Blease, who grew up in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, began his AFL career with the Demons after being selected by the club with pick 17 in the 2008 national draft.
Yet his career almost ended before it began after he suffered a badly broken ankle while having a kick with mates at Yarra Valley Grammar School in early 2009.
The injury grounded Blease for the entire '09 season, and he had to wait until 2011 to make his AFL debut.
He soon found his feet at footy's highest level, winning a NAB Rising Star nomination after a 28-disposal game against Gold Coast in the second-last round of the 2011 home and away season.
Blease won another Rising Star nomination after kicking five goals against St Kilda in 2012, and at that stage he looked set to become a mainstay in the Demons' line-up.
But after playing 16 AFL games in 2012, he managed just 10 in 2013, and he slipped out of favour when Paul Roos took over for the 2014 season.
He joined Geelong as a delisted free agent late last year and ended up playing one AFL match for the Cats, which was against the Sydney Swans at ANZ Stadium in round seven.
He played 11 VFL games for the club.
"I'll always be proud that I was able to play for two great clubs in Melbourne and Geelong," Blease said.
"My career certainly didn't pan out the way I would've liked, but that's footy and that's life.
"I was probably lucky to come back from the broken ankle, to be honest.
"But playing in the AFL has been a fantastic experience and I've met some fantastic people."
Although he wasn't able to have the impact he wanted, Blease "loved every minute" of his time at Geelong.
"The playing group was fantastic and the coaches were great," he said. "For me, they instilled the fun and the love and enjoyment back into the game, which had probably gone missing a little bit.
"I was fortunate enough to learn off some great players, and I felt like I was able to improve my game this year, even though it didn't pan out the way I would've liked."
Geelong general manger of football, Steve Hocking, thanked Blease for his time with the club.

“Sam was unfortunate this year as he was only able to be selected for twelve games in total across both our teams due to a variety of injuries.”

“However, Sam was able to come into our system and fit in really well and we thank him for his efforts."

Blease is still coming to terms with his retirement from footy, but he already has a reasonable idea of what his working and sporting life will entail in the near future.
"I've got a pretty keen interest in the real estate side of things," he said. "I've done a few courses along the way, so that's probably where I'll look to transition into.
"And I'm looking forward to getting back and helping out my local footy club, Norwood, which plays in the Eastern Football League. I will not be playing due to medical advice regarding my previous concussions, but I want to help out in an off-field role in the next 12 months, so that will keep me still involved in football.