First-year Saint Josiah Kyle has parted ways with the St Kilda Football Club, Zero Hanger has confirmed.

Having been selected by the Saints as an NGA-aligned, Category B rookie ahead of the 2022 season, the Dandenong Stringrays' product had been serving the most recent stages of his footballing apprenticeship with the Saints' VFL affiliate, Sandringham.

However, after less than half a season, the 18-year-old's prospects of an AFL debut appear all but dashed after cutting ties with the club ahead of the Zebras' date with Southport last weekend.

Sources close to Zero Hanger suggested that the youngster's decision was made ahead of the club's Round 13 clash with the Brisbane Lions.

"St Kilda Football Club wishes to advise that Category B rookie Josiah Kyle has informed the club of his decision to end his time at the Saints, effective immediately," a club spokesperson confirmed on Friday.

Kyle addressed the playing group and staff this week to share the news that he would be walking away from the AFL to focus on life away from professional football.

“While we are obviously sad to see Josiah leave, we wish him nothing but the best moving forward,” St Kilda Head of Football David Rath said.

“Josiah was a very talented member of our Next Generation Academy and it was a great source of pride for the club when he was added to our rookie list, following the 2021 National draft.

“While his AFL journey has come to an end, he leaves with the full support of the club and knows that he is welcome here anytime.”

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Originally a product of Queensland, Kyle had previously been on record stating that he held little interest in the professional football life until being pressed by his older brother, Joshua.

“Me and my siblings never really had a father around, and my brother was like our father figure,” Kyle told Saints Media in February of 2020.

“Having him come all the way down here was pretty hard, but it was for the best for him. Since I’ve come down, we’ve become heaps closer

"When I came down to Melbourne, I didn’t really want to play AFL – I was more into rugby – but seeing him play down here encouraged me to give AFL a shot."

While any prospects of making an AFL debut have all but evaporated, Kyle will be pulling on the boots this weekend, with Southern Football Netball League outfit Doveton naming the youngster in their squad to face Hampton Park this Saturday.

Given Kyle has not been listed on the association's own website, it is not yet known whether league clearance has been signed, sealed, and delivered.

Kyle was seen as a raw talent by St Kilda's scouts, with the club praising his "genuine speed, great leap and good goal sense" after bringing him through their doors along with fellow rookies Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Mitchito Owens, Marcus WindhagerOscar Adams and Jack Peris at the conclusion of last season.

The mid-sized forward produced averages of 9.4 disposals, 1.3 marks and better than a goal a game across his seven NAB League Appearances in 2021.

Kyle commenced the year as one of nine Indigenous players on the Saints' list, joining the likes of Bradley Hill, Paddy Ryder, Jade Gresham, Ben Long, Jarrod Lienert, as well as draftees Wangeneen-Milera, Peris and Windhager.