Retired Richmond top star Alex Rance has poured cold water on the possibility that he will return to the AFL next year.
The five-time All-Australian player, considered by many to be one of the best defenders of the modern era, played his first game on Sunday in more than two years, when he was a fit for the team. Essendon’s VFL against Southport in Queensland.
Rance, who has remained friends with Bombers coach Ben Rutten since he was Richmond’s backline coach from 2014-18, answered the call as a top reserve to help support Essendon’s depleted reserve team, which has only 10 players on the AFL roster due to the temporary Queensland-based club.
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And the 31-year-old doesn’t seem to have missed a beat since playing his last game in Round 1 in 2019, when he suffered a serious knee injury that needed to recreate the end of his season, forced him to miss the Tigers’ top win that year.
He collected 18 proposals and scored four points in an impressive performance and while that may lead many to believe it was because he wanted to return to the senior ranks, he did not waste his time. waste time shooting down those proposals.
“This is not a comeback!” Rance wrote on Instagram after the VFL Bombers’ four-point loss.
“Playing for Essendon VFL this weekend was simply a fun accident and a one-time thing.
“I was visiting with my family on the Gold Coast and with Covid restrictions the VFL needed some information to fill out.
“I will always be passionate about developing young athletes and it was a great opportunity to play with a (Essendon Next Generation) Academy alumnus Josh Eyre and our high performance manager and Essendon VFL high-performance manager Jake Giannakis.
“I love the life balance I have now, with my priorities changing and professional football not dominating my life. Thanks for a nice day Essendon. “
Rance retired a few months after Richmond threw 89 points against GWS in the 2019 final, finishing 200 games in his career.
Two years earlier, he was part of the 2017 chess team that broke the Tigers’ drought.
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