Daniel Cross is eyeing a return to the AFL system in his employment, which means his playing future is uncertain.
Cross lost his position with AFL outfit Melbourne in May, 2020, after COVID forced clubs to slash personnel.
He has an exercise science degree and been working in rehab management.
Cross was recruited by the Western Bulldogs in the 2000 draft and played 249 matches with them and Melbourne over a 16-year career.
He joined Albury in 2016 and has played 42 games over five seasons, including seven this year, until COVID forced five of the final six rounds and then the finals to be cancelled.
"I was really looking forward to playing finals, it's going to be hard to leave on that sort of note," Cross suggested when quizzed on returning for 2022.
"I'm not sure what's going to happen with work next year, I'll leave that (playing again) open, it's not yes or no just yet.
"I'll always stay fit and ready, but I'm not sure what weekends will hold next year.
"I'm hoping to get back into the AFL system.
"It's early with clubs reshaping their staff, there's a little bit more money coming into the soft cap at footy clubs."
Cross worked at Melbourne as a rehab coordinator and also was the runner for the senior team.
He admits he's missing it.
"Absolutely, the same as an athlete, the camaraderie of building towards a common goal, I love being involved in team sport for that reason, everyone's working towards that goal," he explained.
"Working as a staff member, I love giving the same opportunities that I had.
"It's a wonderful career to have, passing on my knowledge and experience, it's what drives me to get back in."
Passing on my knowledge and experience, it's what drives me to get back in.- Daniel Cross on hoping for a return to the AFL in employment
Cross also worked with VFL club Williamstown this season in the high performance area.
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"It was good just to stay involved from a coaching point of view," he confirmed.
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