Hawthorn tried to buy some time with Dayle Garlett by giving him a break from playing and allowing him to train without the pressure to perform.

Hawthorn tried to buy some time with Dayle Garlett by giving him a break from playing and allowing him to train without the pressure to perform. Photo: Getty Images

UPDATE: 11:30AM

Hawthorn have defended their decision to draft Dayle Garlett despite the troubled West Australian youngster walking away from the club last night.

And the Hawks say that they are proud to have given a player such as Garlett the chance to have tested himself in the AFL environment.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday morning, Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan said that he hoped Garlett returned to play football at some level.

"We're proud we gave him an opportunity. If he can get that hunger back and play in Perth, we'd be happy for him," Fagan said.

"We believed a player with his talent was worth an opportunity."

Fagan said that the club had been hopeful Garlett would be reinvigorated upon returning from Perth where he had ventured to obtain his driver's licence and help relieve the homesickness that had been plaguing the prodigious forward during his time in Melbourne.

"We knew he was missing Perth, so we took his licence as an opportunity for him to get back home."

"He probably thought it was good for him to come over to Melbourne but he found it hard."

Fagan also made it clear that it was predominantly desire rather than discipline which was hindering Garlett from making it in the AFL.

"He had a couple of instances where he was late for training and not in the condition we would have liked - that wasn't a regular occurrence."

Reporters were told that Hawks captain Luke Hodge, who Garlett had briefly been living with in Melbourne, was frustrated by what had transpired.

"Hodgey is disappointed, he's built a relationship with him," Fagan said.

"There's no doubt we're disappointed, we thought he could really help us. But we're more disappointed for Dayle."

Fagan said that it Garlett though ultimatley had to take responsibility.

"He's got to look at the decisions he makes and the consequences. We would love nothing more to see him pursue footy when he's ready."

11:00PM Tuesday Hawthorn’s decision to punt on the talented but troubled Dayle Garlett is over, with the youngster telling the club on Tuesday he was not up to the demands of AFL life and was walking away from football.

Garlett has quit the club and Hawthorn will delist the 20-year-old this week. The Hawks will not be able to promote another player from the rookie list as a replacement for him on the senior list.

Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan and recruiting manager Graham Wright flew to Perth this week to meet Garlett, who had returned home to get his driver’s licence and to help ease the homesickness that he had been battling.

The lifestyle and friends in Perth convinced Garlett, who was conflicted over his future, that he no longer wanted to return to Melbourne and the rigours of AFL life.

Garlett had almost quit the club last month when he told Fagan and coach Alastair Clarkson he was struggling with the pressures on him to perform, the routines of training and the demands and restrictions on his lifestyle.

The stress had become overwhelming and he was having difficulties sleeping and eating.

Garlett had not been picked for pre-season matches because he had not reached the level needed and had been sanctioned by the playing group for his use of social media.

He texted a group of friends that he was contemplating walking away from his dream because AFL life was harder and not what he expected.

He asked his friends for advice on what to do next, saying: ''I love AFL, I really do, it’s been my dream for so long ... but for me I tried it yeah and I’m training, but I’m thinking about coming back home, I don’t think it is my thing. I’m thinking about quitting football, I honestly don’t know what to do.''

Hawthorn tried to buy some time with Garlett by giving him a break from playing and allowing him to train without the pressure to perform. But nearly a month later and after returning home his mind was made up.

''He has not been enjoying himself and in the end has decided it is not for him, and we respect that,'' Fagan said.

''I think when Dayle first came over it was all quite exciting because he was finally living his dream after 12 months of disappointment and hard work, but when he got into the routines and the hard work of training it gradually wore him down.''

The option of retaining Garlett on the club’s list but placing him on the long-term injury list so the club could promote a rookie in his place was not open to Hawthorn as he did not have an injury or illness and it would have prohibited Garlett from playing football at any level in Perth.

Garlett is a talented young footballer but his troubled background meant that despite being eligible for the draft 12 months ago, and despite many club recruiters considering that on talent alone he was among the better players in the draft, no club selected him.

Twelve months later he had significantly turned his life around playing football in the WAFL to the point that Hawthorn selected him with its second-round pick (No.38) in last year’s draft.

- With Daniel Cherny