Shepparton product Jarman Impey has spoken candidly to the AFL website about the toughest experience of his life.
Impey has moved back to Victoria after his trade request from Port Adelaide to Hawthorn was granted in October on compassionate grounds.
Last season, Impey was grieving the loss of his father and best mate Glenn, who died last year after a long battle with cancer.
With Glenn’s death affecting his football, Impey decided he needed to be closer to his family, including his sister Paigan, half-brother Joeldan and his nana.
‘‘I just came to that decision where I wanted to be closer to her and my little brother and family,’’ Impey told AFL.com.au.
‘‘Family comes first for everyone, and that was the decision that was made.
‘‘I think at the end of the season I became mentally weak, I guess you could say. I had a big year, obviously the first year of dad passing and ... football wasn’t probably my No.1 priority — family was.
‘‘It was just a bit of a shock (to lose my dad). My old man was the No.1 person in my life and he taught me a lot of things,’’ he said.
‘‘So for him not to be at every game, it was very different. When he wasn’t around, it was a huge loss and you’re trying to find your way and it took me that season.
‘‘But I’m closer to family now and have got good motivation, so I have no complaints or dramas or any worries.’’
Impey, who played in the Goulburn Valley League with Shepparton and Shepparton Swans, said he was loving being at Hawthorn under the guidance of four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson.
‘‘When you go to a new school or a new job it’s always very daunting, but also very exciting as well and everyone at Hawthorn has been very welcoming,’’ Impey said.
‘‘I believe that Clarko is an amazing coach, one of the best coaches in the system and the conversations we had attracted me and challenged me and that’s what I wanted to do.
‘‘I forever see myself as a Port player, but just to come back home to family, it’s all happened for the right reasons.’’
After Impey’s trade to the Hawks went through, he posted a touching tribute on Instagram detailing the reasons why he left Port Adelaide.
The post was extremely well received, with Power supporters understanding of Impey’s desire to return home.
Impey is one of four Goulburn Valley exports at Hawthorn, along with Benalla’s Harry Morrison, Mansfield’s James Cousins and Rennie’s Daniel Howe.