GEELONG midfielder Simon Hogan says he made the decision to retire from footy early on in the season, but only told the playing group two hours before yesterday's VFL premiership win over Port Melbourne.
Hogan, who revealed he suffered from depression, said that making the decision has helped his mental health.
He is involved with the mental health organisation headspace off the field. ''I'm in a great place now and probably the last three to four months have probably been the best place I've been for quite a while, that's probably on the back of knowing what direction I'm heading in,'' Hogan said after yesterday's win.
''I've really enjoyed my time at Geelong and I will always be involved in the club, but for now, I just want to finish off some study and do a few other things, some travel and go a bit of my own way.
''I probably actually made the decision pretty early in the year because I was having a bit of a rough time and I probably needed to, there's too many other things that I want to do.
''Most of my close mates at the club and friends knew pretty early in the season, but I didn't tell the whole playing group until two hours before the game.
''I really wanted to go out alongside David Wojcinski and those guys and I'm so rapt that we've come away with the win,'' he said.
Hogan, who didn't manage to add to his 22 AFL games this season, won his second premiership at the club yesterday after also being a part of Geelong's 2007 flag.
Two-hundred gamer Wojcinski also retired with a fourth flag at the club. ''The body's sort of packed it in with the hamstrings but for me to finish it off and get something out of the year was sensational,'' Wojcinski said.
Yesterday's VFL grand final was also expected to be premiership midfielder Shannon Byrnes' last in Geelong colours as he explores free agency.