RYAN Griffen felt compelled to leave the Western Bulldogs and get out of Melbourne to rediscover his love of the game and life, his manager says.
Griffen's manager, Nigel Carmody, insisted the first he knew of his client's intentions was when Griffen arrived back from a European holiday last week.
"He's a pretty loyal character, and I know that's probably a strange word to use about a guy who's just left his footy club, but for him in the end … he just simply wasn't happy in the environment,' Carmody told SEN on Thursday morning.
"To go to GWS, for him, it's as far away from this Melbourne football environment that … (everyone) feeds off. He's someone who wants to turn up, play, train his butt off, and then be away from it.
"He's a very quiet, unassuming type. He's a guy who likes to be away in his own thoughts or amongst close friends and family."
Carmody insisted Griffen didn't make his decision based on whether Brendan McCartney would continue as Bulldogs coach. He said it was "probably unfair" to blame Griffen for McCartney's subsequent resignation, and defended Griffen's decision to air his concerns to club officials.
"Ryan, as captain of the footy club and as a person, had to be honest and upfront and get that information out there," he said.
"But he then had a period of two weeks where, for the first time, he was in absolutely clear air and space.
"He had that time, came back and sat down with us and said, 'Look, I'm not happy. I think I've got to make a change here. Is this a possibility, and how do I go about it?'
"He said, 'I think this is an environmental thing for me. If I can be out of Melbourne, in particular, it's going to be better for me. I'll be a better person on the field, but particularly the off-the-field stuff … is going to line up'."
Carmody conceded Griffen had been a reluctant captain, adding that leadership responsibilities had weighed heavily on him.
"It was a hard thing for him, and it was a major adjustment that had to take place. He's a leader but he's not a leader in the true sense of what we think perhaps an AFL captain to be these days – they're a mouthpiece, they're a spokesperson," he said.
"Captaincy's probably a bit of an iceberg too – there's that public part of it but there's an enormous amount of work that's required behind the scenes. He did certain things well, within his capabilities, but there's an element of things that don't sit comfortably with him."
Carmody confirmed that Griffen would play for less money with the Giants than he would have with the Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, the Dogs expect the Boyd signing to help their quest for a new coach, making the club a more attractive proposition after securing the type of forward target they have been craving for several years.
Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney believes the vacant coaching position would be viewed as a "a mouth-watering opportunity".
However, McCartney was preaching patience with Boyd, who inked a seven-year deal reportedly worth $1 million a year.
"This is a long-term investment. The boy's only played nine games and it'll be a work in progress. The players around him will benefit from him being out there, but we're not expecting miracles overnight," he told radio station SEN.
"If you look at a Tom Hawkins, (who) had a similar stature (as) a young player and it took him some time ... We're just happy he'll be in a Bulldog jumper next year, to be honest... We've got to be patient with him. Let's not put too much on him."