LESS than three months ago, 96-game AFL midfielder Tomas Bugg was given a lifeline by Carlton.
But life moves quickly and after just 71 days at his new club, the 25-year-old has sensationally retired from the AFL to chase a career in business with a social media and influencer, marketing agency ZOOZ Group.
It's a shocking backflip from the youngster, who was delisted by the Melbourne Demons after just three games last season.
Carlton kept his AFL career alive by picking him up in November's rookie draft.
But on Friday, Bugg informed his teammates he had lost the desire to play footy.
"I've made the decision to retire from AFL footy to pursue other passions," he said in a video on the Carlton website.
"At the end of the day, my heart wasn't in it anymore and I thought I'm doing the right thing by the club to move on. But what I'm moving into, I'm really passionate about so I'm looking forward to the future."
Bugg took to Instagram to further explain the new direction his life is heading in.
"Always follow your dreams and back yourself and it's time to fully invest into my business @zoozgroup," Bugg wrote.
"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."
Bugg also praised the Blues and predicted success in the future.
"I've met some amazing people in my short time at Carlton," he said.
"They're just some amazing people, I've been at two other clubs previously but to come into a club like Carlton and see how professional the environment was and how eager they are to have success was amazing to be around.
"I just see with the young talent and skill we have here and combine that with the eagerness to want to succeed, I think there's going to be some success in the near future."
Carlton had a horror season last year - its worst statistical season since 1901 with just two wins.
The off-season hasn't been much better for Carlton with a nightmare run of events. Last week the Blues added Alex Fasolo to the injury list after he broke his arm in an alcohol-fuelled Australia Day celebration.
He joins Sam Docherty (ACL), Matthew Kreuzer (knee), Mitch McGovern (back fracture), Liam Jones (broken hand) and Jarrod Pickett (patella rupture) on the sidelines.
Kreuzer should be right for round one.
Carlton football boss Brad Lloyd tried to look on the bright side, with Carlton able to add a player to replace Bugg.
"The new AFL rules are perfect for situations such as this," Lloyd said. "We now have an opportunity to add a player to our group who will be a valuable contributor to our football club."
The new rule allows clubs to add players to their list during the pre-season if a player suffers a long-term injury or retires between December 1 and March 15.
- with AAP
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