CARLTON recruit Tom Bugg has sensationally retired from AFL football, just three months after he was recruited to the club.
Bugg, who joined the Blues as a rookie in November, informed teammates of his decision to retire on Friday due to "growing interests outside the game".
The 25-year-old posted on social media after announcing his decision that he would invest more time in his business, a social media and influencer agency.
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Thank you football. I’ve met the most amazing people and I have made lifelong friends. I have experienced the ups and downs of professional sport, this had allowed me to grow as a person and for that I am so grateful. Always follow your dreams and back yourself and it’s time to fully invest into my business @zoozgroup In the space of 7 months we have gone from a start up to a multimillion dollar firm. There is a longer journey ahead for the business to reach its full potential globally I am so passionate about growing this business and helping our amazing group to achieve everything they’ve ever dreamed of. I’d like to thank @gwsgiants, @melbournefc and especially @carlton_fc for their continued support and I look forward to continuing to kick goals off the field
He had previously played 96 games for Greater Western Sydney and Melbourne, while he had been taking part in Carlton's pre-season training as recently as this week.
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"My life away from football has changed in a very short period of time which has been the reason behind this tough decision," Bugg said in a statement.
"The players and staff at Carlton have been so welcoming and supportive to me, I cannot thank them enough. Everyone is working incredibly hard to take the club back to where it needs to be, you see that every day when you walk through the door."
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Carlton already had two list spots available prior to Bugg's retirement, one by choice and another due to a long-term injury suffered by co-captain Sam Docherty, with new AFL rules enabling the Blues to sign replacement players through until March 15.
VFL star Michael Gibbons and overlooked draft hopeful Matt Cottrell have been training with Carlton since December in the hope of an opportunity, with Carlton football boss Brad Lloyd suggesting the Blues will take advantage of the new rules to cover for Bugg's loss.
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"This gives us an opportunity to look at players who are currently training with us and see them in match simulation, but also players that sit outside the football club" Lloyd said.
"We're working through that constantly, seeing players in match simulation and match practice. It gives us a really good body of work to make some decisions."