Yarran’s addiction ‘harrowing’ for Tigers

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says Chris Yarran’s descent into drug addiction was a “harrowing” experience for both club and player.

Yarran played 119 games for Carlton before he was traded to Richmond ahead of the 2016 season, but left Punt Road without making a senior appearance after being delisted in November.

The 26-year-old has since revealed his career was brought to an end by an addiction to ice, with all efforts including $1000-a-night rehabilitation failing to help him.

In an online video interview, Yarran said discovering religion had helped him to turn his life around.

Hardwick on Saturday said Yarran’s struggles had deeply affected the club, with football boss Dan Richardson and former assistant coach Mark Williams heavily invested in helping him.

“It was a harrowing experience for Chris and our footy club at the time,” Hardwick said on Saturday.

“We’re just glad he’s through the worst of it.

“We had a lot of people trying to help Chris through his crisis, and those people on a daily basis are putting a lot of resources in to get Chris back on track.

“It creates a lot of friction within that environment.

“The great thing for us is our footy club and Chris have both moved on and we’re both looking really positive at the moment, and that’s the way we hope it will continue.”

Hardwick said Richmond weren’t aware of the extent of Yarran’s struggles when he first joined the club.

But he admitted it didn’t take long for them to emerge.

“It became pretty evident from early on that there were some issues there,” he said.

“What comes first, the mental problems or the drug addiction, it’s probably chicken and the egg really.

“We had some people working furiously with Chris … unfortunately it didn’t work out, but we probably gave him the best support that we could.”

Hardwick said it would take a huge effort from Yarran to make it back to the AFL should he choose to revive his career.

“That’s up to Chris and how hard he works, and it’s up to clubs to decide,” he said.

“He’s certainly a capable AFL player.

“You’ve got to be prepared to do the work and it’s a long road back, I reckon, once you’re out of the system.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!