Former Ladbrokes Premiership player announces his retirement from football at just 24 for 'personal reasons'

Former St Johnstone defender Madis Vihmann has announced his retirement from football at the age of 24.

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Vihmann spent the first half of the season on loan at McDiarmid Park, making just five appearances.

The 6ft 5in defender was supposed to spent the entire campaign with the Saints but his deal was cut short on January 30 and he returned to parent club Flora Tallinn.

Madis Vihmann playing for St Johnstone at Celtic Park earlier this season. Picture: SNS

Just six days later, Vihmann made it clear to Flora that he wished to retire.

He said in a statement: "I want to thank the club, the coaches and the players I have played under and with whom I have played. It is a personal decision that I do not comment on."

"That was his decision. We just have to respect it," said club president Pelle Pohlak.

Vihmann had 19 caps for the Estonian national team after making his debut in 2017. His national team coach, Karel Voolaid, expressed his surprise at the decision.

"In Estonia, this kind of news is not everyday, so I'm definitely not happy when a player comes up with such a decision one day," Voolaid was quoted as saying in DelfiSport.

"It's clear that Madis is a reasonably intelligent person who has thought through the matter rather than downplayed his emotions.

"We talked first and foremost about why he wasn't all that well in Scotland as he should have been - why he didn't get his playing time and how to get back to playing regularly.

"There was also talk of having to change club. I was in a good sense of support and trying to keep up with his activities. I don't know when he started thinking about this idea. So I can't speculate what that exact reason might have been."