Kade Kolodjashnij at training in December. Picture: Getty Images

MELBOURNE defender Kade Kolodjashnij is focusing on the insect repellent industry after concussion forced him into an early AFL retirement.

The former top-five draft pick has managed just two games in the past two years due to ongoing effects of concussion. 

Kolodjashnij was selected by Gold Coast at No.5 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft and made an instant impact, playing 18 games in his debut 2014 season and earning a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination. 

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He went on to play 59 games across his first three seasons before injury began taking its toll. The 25-year-old managed just 19 matches across 2016-17 before requesting a trade to the Demons. 


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Kolodjashnij played two games for Melbourne in 2019, the last in round three, before persistent symptoms associated with concussion stopped him from taking the field again.

"It's disappointing it has turned out like this," he told melbournefc.com.au

"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. 

"Unfortunately concussion got the better of me over the last four years or so." 

Kade Kolodjashnij in action against Essendon in round three, 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

Kolodjashnij says he has overcome his concussion symptoms and is now running his own business alongside his brother, focusing 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 and I invested in a family business which specialises in natural insect repellent.

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"It's going really well at the moment and we have been operating and trading for about 12 months now."

Kolodjashnij's retirement means Melbourne has farewelled nine players, including youngster Aaron Nietschke who has been promised a rookie-list berth for 2021 as he recovers from a second knee reconstruction.