AHEAD of the first list lodgement on Wednesday afternoon, Kade Kolodjashnij has made the decision to retire from football.
After initially being selected by the Gold Coast Suns in the 2013 National Draft at pick No.5, Kolodjashnij went on to play 78 games for the Suns.
Following the 2018 season, the classy left footer was traded to Melbourne and unfortunately only managed two senior games.
Kolodjashnij’s career has been hindered by concussion, which has resulted in some lingering symptoms that have sidelined him throughout his career.
While it’s a disappointing conclusion to a promising career, Josh Mahoney, the club’s General Manager of Football Facilities and Administration, says it was an important decision for the 25-year-old to make.
“We had high hopes for the role that Kade would play for us when he joined from Gold Coast and we are obviously disappointed that his career has ended with his retirement,” Mahoney told Melbourne Media
“It has been a frustrating period for the club and Kade managing his concussion.
“This is the best decision for Kade’s health and wellbeing and gives him the greatest opportunity to move into the next phase of his life.”
Although this wasn’t the way Kolodjashnij expected to finish his career, he is thankful for the great people he has met along the way.
“It’s disappointing it has turned out like this,” he said.
“I think coming into the AFL system you don’t expect to be retiring at 25 years old, but I have been fortunate enough to be at two great clubs.
“I have met some lifelong friends, and grown so much individually as a person both on the field and off the field so I am pretty content with where it is all at now.
“I have had a bit of time to think about the transition and the retirement, unfortunately concussion got the better of me over the last four years or so.
“I wouldn’t take anything back, I have learnt and grown so much and just looking forward to the next phase of my life.”
Pleasingly, Kolodjashnij has overcome his concussion issues and is in a good space.
He is now running his own business with his brother Jake, focussing on natural insect repellent.
“I am back in a pretty good place now – I am exercising and feeling good physically and mentally,” Kolodjashnij said.
“During my football career, Jake (brother) and I invested in a family business which specialises in natural insect repellent.
“It’s going really well at the moment and we have been operating and trading for about 12 months now.
“We are actually looking to get into some big retail chains in the next six months which is really exciting. In addition to that I am looking at getting involved in a few other business adventures also.”
Kolodjashnij’s final game was in Round 3, 2019, which was his first season as a Demon.