Alastair Clarkson and Tom Scully after a win over Collingwood in 2009. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson admits he tried to talk Tom Scully out of retirement but says the Hawks winger was simply "cooked".

Scully on Tuesday announced he was immediately walking away from the game after 187 games with three AFL clubs.

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The No.1 pick from the 2009 NAB AFL Draft declared he had lost his passion for football and his heart was not in continuing on for a third season at Hawthorn after arriving from Greater Western Sydney during the 2018 Trade Period.

Clarkson tried "pretty hard" to convince the 29-year-old to remain an AFL player and not to be rash with a decision about his career.

But, after spending time with him over the past eight weeks, the four-time premiership coach understands why Scully can no longer play at the elite level.

"We first had an inkling just post-Christmas and then we were just working with him on a regular basis since," Clarkson told SEN on Thursday.

"We came to the conclusion last Saturday morning that it was time to move onto the next chapter of his life."

Clarkson believes Scully's ultra-professionalism ultimately led to burnout.

Enjoying an outstanding junior career, the left-foot speedster was long destined for big things.

Melbourne snapped Scully up with the top pick in 2009, with Scully playing 31 games in two seasons for the Demons.

Tom Scully after he was drafted by Melbourne in 2009. Picture: AFL Photos

GWS came calling with a big-money offer before their entry to the AFL in 2012 and Scully made his move to the Giants.

He played 121 games with the expansion club before a serious ankle injury ruined his final season with them in 2018.

"Tom didn't get drafted until he was 18, but to actually know the lad and his family, you'd probably know he started preparing to be an AFL footballer when he was about 10 or 12 years of age," Clarkson said.

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"Most players in terms of the professionalism of the game really crank it up when they're 17 or 18.

"By the time (Scully) gets to 29 ... he's just cooked.

"If you can't be 100 per cent (committed) in this caper ... unfortunately it had to be all-out because he couldn't commit himself to what was required to continue on with the game."

Clarkson said Jonathon Patton remains absent from Hawks training but the club will stick by the key forward as an AFL investigation continues into his alleged inappropriate use of social media.