DANIEL Cross has confirmed he will remain with the club in an off-field capacity, after accepting a position as development and rehabilitation coach.
Manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said the club was delighted Cross had decided to take up the new role, after playing with Melbourne from 2014-15, following a fine career with the Western Bulldogs.
“Daniel has a sports science degree and was keen to work in this area post playing,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“He will work across the high performance and development teams during the week and will be our match day runner on game day.
“Daniel has ambitions in this area and we believe it will help him continually develop his skills.”
Cross said he’d made a lot of great relationships at the club in his two seasons with Melbourne and that made his decision a lot easier.
“I wanted to make the right decision and a real considered call on what was going to be the best opportunity for me to succeed and I really want to help the team get success,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“It was made clear in the end that I kept coming back to Melbourne as the best opportunity in the short term and long term.
“What clinched it for me was the emotional attachment I have for the playing group. I feel like I’ve been part of the rebuild since Roosy [Paul Roos] came to the club.
“To continue in the fitness group and to help the boys grow and succeed as a team – that really excited me. That was what drew me in the end.”
Cross said he had several opportunities presented to him, but in the end the lure of remaining at Melbourne – albeit in a different capacity – was too strong.
He added that he was keen to head down the conditioning pathway, but also help mentor players along the way.
Cross said he was unlikely to follow Shannon Byrnes, who retired in 2014 and moved into an off-field role and played with Casey in the VFL this year.
“Not at this stage. It’s going to be super tough for me to walk away from something that you absolutely love and treasure, but I’m sure I’ll be out on the track a bit with the boys,” he said.
“I’m sure the feet will become itchy and I might want to, but I really want to focus on helping the Melbourne playing group achieve what they want to now.
“The greatest thing I can do now is help the players be the best that they can be and that’s teaching, instructing and helping in any way that I can. I want to make Melbourne a better team, so I don’t think I’ll be pulling on a Scorpions jumper next year.”