VETERAN Daniel Cross will play his last match for Melbourne against Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The 32-year-old will play his 249th AFL match in Melbourne’s last home and away match of the season.
The club made the decision not to offer Cross a playing contract for next year and he has decided to announce his retirement from the AFL.
Cross played 210 games for the Western Bulldogs from 2002-13 and added 38 matches with Melbourne from 2014-15.
Manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said Cross had performed his role with aplomb since joining the Demons.
“When we first spoke to Crossy, we saw his role at the club as twofold. Firstly, he could play a role on field and just as important he could play a major role off field working with our players, showing them how to prepare as an AFL footballer,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“He has performed both roles extremely well over two years. His performance last weekend highlighted his character and competitiveness, where he only knows one way to play and that is by giving everything you have and never giving up. Right to the end, he wanted to keep playing.
“Crossy has been an important person in our club’s rebuild and we hope this continues with a role he has been offered in the football department.”
Cross was originally drafted at No.56 in the 2000 AFL Draft. He made his AFL debut for the Bulldogs in round 10, 2002 against Richmond at the MCG.
He became a distinguished player for the Bulldogs and was a regular place getter in the club’s best and fairest award. From 2005-11, he notched up 49 Brownlow Medal votes.
In 2008, Cross won the best and fairest for the Western Bulldogs.
He also finished second in 2005 and three years in a row from 2009-10-11. In 2006, he finished third.
Cross was an All-Australian nominee in 2008.
In 2010, he represented Australia in the International Rules series.
He was also a member of the pre-season premiership team for the Bulldogs in 2010.
And in 2004, he was an NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.