Ex-Docker Harley Balic dies aged 25

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  • Harley Balic
    Australian rules footballer

Former Fremantle midfielder Harley Balic has died just days after turning 25, becoming the third former Docker to pass away in the past four years.

Balic, whose death isn't being treated as suspicious, was labelled the steal of the 2015 national draft after being selected by Fremantle with pick No.38.

He booted three goals from four games in 2017 before being granted personal leave.

A homesick Balic was traded to Melbourne at the end of that season, but he failed to play a game for the Demons and announced his retirement in August, 2018.

Balic had been open about the mental health issues he had suffered in the past, and said he had lost his passion for the game.

"It was an easy decision in the end, as I've thought about it for a little while now," he said in 2018 upon announcing his retirement.

"It's something I'm not going to regret and I'm very appreciative to Melbourne for letting me come to the club for a second chance.

"I've always loved football, but my heart's not in it and everything ends up being a grind and I think it's just the right thing to do."

Fremantle have mourned the death of two other former players in recent years.

Former Dockers and Demons midfielder Colin Sylvia died in 2018 in a car crash, while ex-Fremantle forward Shane Yarran also died in 2018.

Former AFL star Harley Bennell posted a photo of himself with Balic and Yarran with the caption: "Rest easy my 2 brothers."

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