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Young Lion quits footy after losing desire to play

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: Jaden McGrath of the Lions is seen during the Brisbane Lions official team photo day at The Gabba in Brisbane on February 26, 2016. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Jaden McGrath has quit footy

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BRISBANE Lions youngster Jaden McGrath has decided to call time on his AFL career after losing his desire to play at the elite level.

McGrath, 20, signed a formal release from his contract this week, citing injury issues and a loss of motivation as factors behind his choice.

He was contracted until the end of the 2018 season.

"It's a difficult choice to make but I want to be honest with myself and with the club – and I just don't have the desire to continue at the elite level," McGrath said in a statement.

"Football is something I love and I want to get back to a place where I can enjoy the game again.

"I'd like to thank my family and friends for all their support, and the club for giving me an opportunity to have a crack at AFL footy."

McGrath, drafted with pick No.73 from Kerang in country Victoria at the end of 2014, played the first three games of the 2015 season before being diagnosed with a stress reaction in the navicular bone in his foot.

The serious injury kept him out for the remainder of the year, but he was offered a two-year contract extension, which he signed in December last year, before further injury setbacks during last season limited McGrath to just two NEAFL games.

Lions football manager David Noble said the club would continue to provide McGrath with the help he needs. 

"We really appreciate Jaden's honesty and as a club we are committed to support him as he settles into life outside football," Noble said.