Ex-Docker Harley Balic dies aged 25

The football world is mourning the death of former Fremantle and Melbourne player Harley Balic.

Balic, who turned 25 last Wednesday, died on the weekend. Victoria Police confirmed in a statement it will prepare a report for the coroner. There were no suspicious circumstances.

Harley Balic during his time at Melbourne.Credit:Getty Images

Balic played four games for the Dockers at the start of 2017 after they drafted him at pick 38 in the 2015 AFL national draft. He also played in Peel Thunder’s 2016 premiership team. A total of 14 current Dockers were teammates of Balic at Fremantle, with the club extending in a statement their “deepest sympathies” to his friends and family.

He returned to Victoria after being traded to Melbourne at the end of 2017, but he failed to play a senior game before announcing his retirement in August 2018. He played 11 games with the Demons’ VFL affiliate Casey.

Melbourne CEO Gary Pert offered the club’s condolences to Balic’s family and friends.

“On behalf of the Melbourne Football Club, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Harley’s family at this difficult time,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with those closest to Harley, his teammates, and the extended Melbourne family.”

Balic spoke openly about his battles with mental health and anxiety during his career.

A talented junior basketballer, he began his football career with Mordialloc Braeside in Melbourne’s south-east before becoming All-Australian at under-18 level having played for Vic Metro. Several AFL players offered their condolences on social media.

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