GREATER Western Sydney has granted key forward Cam McCarthy indefinite leave to allow him to return to Western Australia.
The 20-year-old is understood to have informed the Giants on Wednesday he was homesick and wanted time with family.
The Giants have accepted it is in his best interests to take a break from the game although AFL.com.au understands they plan to keep him on the list.
They will also continue to support him throughout the process with Giants CEO Dave Matthews saying the decision to grant the player indefinite leave was made after careful consideration.
"Cam has most recently been struggling to deal with the day-to-day demands of being an AFL footballer and as a result we have agreed that the best course of action is for him to step away from the game," Matthews said.
"Following last year's trade period we agreed to implement a range of measures to ensure Cam was able to spend more time in Western Australia with his family. This included augmenting his training schedule as well as bolstering what was already a comprehensive welfare framework.
"Despite initially making strong progress after returning from the Christmas break it has been apparent that Cam cannot currently meet the demands of being an AFL footballer.
"We will obviously continue to support Cam during this time and assist him in every way possible. His welfare is our priority. We ask that Cam's privacy be respected at this time."
McCarthy sought a trade to Fremantle during last year's trade period but the Giants refused to let him go as he had two years remaining on his contract.
He was a notable absentee from the Giants' team photo shoot on Wednesday, with the club saying he was unwell.
The young forward had a breakout season in his second year with the expansion club kicking 35 goals in 20 games and earning a NAB Rising Star nomination.
The Giants were determined to hang on to quality players who wanted leave before their contract expired after trading Tom Boyd a year earlier to the Western Bulldogs when he had been at the club for just one season.
Adam Tomlinson also remained with the Giants despite seeking a trade to Carlton during the off-season.
After working hard to secure a trade for McCarthy, his manager Colin Young indicated in October McCarthy was unlikely to finish his career at the Giants.
However after a slow start to the pre-season McCarthy was understood to be training well in recent weeks.
Co-captain Phil Davis said in November the young forward was a popular member of the team and Leon Cameron had said after the trade period the club wanted to make it possible for McCarthy to spend more time with family.
He was selection No.14 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft.