PAUL Chapman's departure from Geelong came after the 31-year-old was told he would play just a handful of games next season if he stayed on.

Chapman parted ways with the Cats on Thursday afternoon, but he fronted up at the club's best and fairest count that night and received a standing ovation after addressing the 1500-strong crowd.

Prior to the function, the three-time premiership player gave some insights into the talks he had with Geelong after coming out of contract at the end of the season.

"If I happened to get a contract for next year, they couldn’t guarantee any more than eight games or anything like that, because they want to play young kids and get them a taste of AFL footy," Chapman explained.

"I totally understand what they're talking about, and a 10-game thing or anything like that is not something that I'm up for.

"Playing VFL footy is not how I want to end it either. I'm just looking forward and hopefully I can keep playing footy."

Cats coach Chris Scott confirmed that the negotiations between the club and Chapman centred around the 2009 Norm Smith medallist becoming a fringe player.

"It wasn't really a matter of us offering him a role, necessarily," Scott said.

"It was a conversation he and I in particular had, along with the list management committee, about what that role would probably look like and whether he could accept that.

"My view was that it was a little bit disrespectful for us to ask him to play a bit-part role, which was possible, and he agreed with that.

"So, at the end of the day, while Chappy would like to play on under perfect circumstances with us, it really was a mutual decision."

Chapman was interviewed by Geelong great Bill Brownless at the best and fairest function, and he made a special effort to thank the Cats' supporters.

"I'm disappointed and I'm glad they're a little bit disappointed too," Chapman said.

"Their support that they've given me – I think there was a petition or something that went out on Facebook or something like that. I've loved their support.

"I love that they love me, and the support that they've given me has been great.

"I just need to thank them for what they've done. If they could've made a different I'm sure that they would've."

Chapman also praised the way Scott handled the talks that led to his departure.

"You realise that clubs need to move on and keep developing young players, and we've got a lot of good young players at Geelong and they deserve their opportunity," he said.

"If I was in their shoes I'd be expecting a chance myself."

Although he turns 32 next month, Chapman is adamant he would be good value for another club.

While being interviewed by Brownless he chuckled when a Geelong fan yelled out: "Don't go to Collingwood!"

But he acknowledged that if things go his way he will be playing against the Cats next season.

"It will be hard to run out against my ex-teammates, the blokes that I've loved playing footy with, the blokes that I love more than anything," Chapman said.

"That'll be hard, but you've got to do what you've got to do. And we'll be mates forever. We've done some incredible things together.

"No matter if I hit you cheaply, I still love you."

Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol