Clayton Oliver training.
Clayton Oliver is taking an indefinite break from football as he battles ongoing medical issues. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Oliver leaves Dees’ camp to deal with medical issues

Shayne Hope December 20, 2023

Troubled Melbourne AFL star Clayton Oliver is taking an indefinite break from football as he battles ongoing medical issues.

The gun midfielder attended the first day of the Demons’ training camp at Lorne, but left on Monday night after discussions with the club’s football hierarchy.

“Clayton is taking a break as he continues to deal with some personal medical issues,” Melbourne football manager Alan Richardson said in a statement.

“We are continuing to support Clayton and managing his program in a way that prioritises his health and wellbeing.

“His teammates and staff remain confident he is making good progress.”

Four-time best-and-fairest winner Oliver has battled injuries and medical issues in recent months, and has faced questions over his off-field behaviour.

The 26-year-old will face court in January after he was charged with driving with a suspended licence.

Oliver has been unable to drive on medical grounds since he was hospitalised following a seizure on October 12.

After the incident, he partially attributed the seizure to side effects of his ADHD medication.

Oliver’s professionalism was repeatedly questioned throughout 2023 amid doubts over his future at Melbourne.

The prolific onballer was the subject of intense trade speculation, with Adelaide among the clubs interested, despite being under contract until 2030 after signing a massive seven-year extension last year.

Melbourne ultimately chose not to trade Oliver, but coach Simon Goodwin and CEO Gary Pert made it clear he needed to lift his standards.

This month, Pert told a members’ forum Oliver had shown a renewed commitment to the Demons’ cause.

“Clayton’s doing really well, he’s in a great head (space),” Pert said.

“He’s made a real commitment … he’s 100 per cent in, he wants to be part of something really special.”

Melbourne captain Max Gawn joined teammates at the training camp on Wednesday following the birth of his second child.

Forward Jake Melksham resumed running for the first time since undergoing a knee reconstruction, which ruled him out of the 2023 finals series.