Bailey Smith looks happy and healthy after taking indefinite leave from footy 1

Bailey Smith looks happy and healthy after taking indefinite leave from footy

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AFL star Bailey Smith looks happy as he cuddles up to a stunning model on the Gold Coast after shocking fans by taking indefinite leave from footy to battle mental health issues


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AFL star Bailey Smith recently shocked fans when he announced he was taking an ‘indefinite leave’ from the game to focus on his mental health.

And on Christmas Eve, the Western Bulldogs player, 21, looked happy as he partied with friends on the Gold Coast.

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A shirtless Bailey, who has become somewhat of an Instagram sensation, showed off his abs as he cuddled up to stunning IMG fashion model Saskia Teje as the pair spent time with his teammate Billy Gowers, 25, and other pals.

A well-deserved break: AFL star Bailey Smith looked happy as he cuddled up to stunning IMG fashion model Saskia Tejean and teammate Billy Gowon on Gold Coast on Friday, after shocking fans by taking indefinite leave from footy to battle mental health issues

A well-deserved break: AFL star Bailey Smith looked happy as he cuddled up to stunning IMG fashion model Saskia Tejean and teammate Billy Gowon on Gold Coast on Friday, after shocking fans by taking indefinite leave from footy to battle mental health issues

‘Merry golden path,’ Smith captioned the post. 

In another image, he posed shirtless for a racy mirror selfie. 

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Earlier this week, Smith shared some cryptic photographs on Instagram wearing his Bulldogs jersey, with fans left wondering what it could mean for his playing future and his mental health struggles. 

'Merry golden path': In another image, he posed shirtless for a racy mirror selfie

‘Merry golden path’: In another image, he posed shirtless for a racy mirror selfie

Mask selfie: Smith also shared a picture of himself sitting in the back of a car wearing a pearl necklace and Nike Swoosh earrings

Mask selfie: Smith also shared a picture of himself sitting in the back of a car wearing a pearl necklace and Nike Swoosh earrings 

But the club later revealed that he had returned to training through a social media post, just seven days after stepping down from the sport.

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Smith revealed in an honest interview in October that he told the Bulldogs even before the club drafted him that he struggled with serious mental health issues.

He also told the AFL he had long fought with the dreaded ‘black dog’ of depression.

Living it up! Bailey partied with pals on the Gold Coast this week

Living it up! Bailey partied with pals on the Gold Coast this week 

Cryptic: Earlier this week, Smith shared some cryptic photographs on Instagram wearing his Bulldogs jersey, with fans left wondering what it could mean for his playing future and his mental health struggles

Cryptic: Earlier this week, Smith shared some cryptic photographs on Instagram wearing his Bulldogs jersey, with fans left wondering what it could mean for his playing future and his mental health struggles

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‘We’ve all got demons, we’ve all got things that make us anxious or struggle, and I’ve got my own mental health which I deal with,’ he said during a candid interview with the AFL.

Smith’s decision sent shockwaves across the AFL community, with many taking to footy forums to speculate about why the blond-haired star, who hasn’t missed a game in his first three seasons in the big league, would step back from his duties. 

While idolised for his dedication to training and honing his skills on the field, Smith has also become a marketable celebrity, dethroning Richmond superstar Dustin Martin as the most-followed AFL footballer on Instagram.

But it has been a tough year for the superstar, which saw him endure a run-in with the law and his team trounced in the Grand Final by Melbourne in a 74-point loss. 

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Smith told the Common Chaos podcast in October of his mental health issues and the panic attacks he had suffered from since an early age.

‘I started taking medication, that’s something I didn’t do for such a long time because I didn’t want to be weak,’ he told hosts Cartia Mallan and Ashton Wood.

Candid: He revealed in an honest interview in October that he told the Bulldogs even before the club drafted him that he struggled with serious mental health issues. The Western Bulldogs footballer also told the AFL he had long fought with the dreaded 'black dog' of depression

Candid: He revealed in an honest interview in October that he told the Bulldogs even before the club drafted him that he struggled with serious mental health issues. The Western Bulldogs footballer also told the AFL he had long fought with the dreaded ‘black dog’ of depression

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