RETIRED Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney says abuse from Twitter trolls affected his form at Essendon.

Cooney revealed on Thursday that if he made a mistake with his kicking, he would immediately think about the tweets people would send to him afterwards.

The 31-year-old played the final two seasons of his career at Essendon after being traded from the Western Bulldogs, and retired after lining up against the Dogs in round 22 this year.

"Particularly at Essendon, when I would get a lot of criticism about my kicking … and I started to read a lot of it (social media criticism), I think it did start to affect my kicking," Cooney told SEN on Thursday.

"Once I read so many times about how I was a terrible kick – and I've been a pretty reasonable kick for the first part of my career – I started to think about it a lot more.

"In games, if I would miss a kick, at the time I would be thinking, 'Jeez, I'm going to cop it for that later'."

Cooney played 31 matches in his time at the Bombers and struggled to capture the form that saw him become one of the gun midfielders in the competition, with a degenerative knee hampering him.

"My first year at Essendon and the start of this year at Essendon, I would dread checking my Twitter after a game because I knew that there would be a barrage of abuse. A lot of the Essendon supporters were pretty ruthless on me," he said.

"I used to get a little apprehensive checking my Twitter after a game."

He admitted he resorted to checking into people's online history.

"If I get abused on Twitter after a game and it’s particularly harsh, I'll go into the person’s account and actually see some of the previous things they've written.

"That gives you a little insight into the person's mindset and what sort of person they actually are.

"A lot of them are lonely people."

Cooney's advice to younger players who struggle to deal with Twitter trolls is to give it up.

"I'd hate to be an 18-year-old kid (and) to cop that. If you're copping that every week, it doesn't matter who you are, it wears you down," he said.

"If it's affecting you to the point where you are thinking about it all the time, and you're getting down about it and you can't function, I would advise to not have a Twitter account."