Richmond's former star full-back Alex Rance is in discussions with a fourth-division club in Perth to make a return to footy in 2021.
The five-time All-Australian retired from AFL football prematurely at age 30 in 2019 to spend more time with his family, and to focus more on his Jehovah's Witness faith.
Alex Rance could make an amateur league comeback. Credit:Getty Images
But amateur fourth-division side Swan Valley Football Club is in advanced negotiations with the 2017 Richmond premiership player to run out for a handful of matches for the side in 2021.
Swan Valley's new player-coach is Rance's cousin David Ellard, and a source at the club said they were confident that link would secure them the defender's services.
Ellard played 63 AFL matches for Carlton between 2008 and 2015.
The hope is that Rance could play two or three games or a best-case scenario of five, which would qualify him for finals and help the club move up a division.
They are keen for as many of those games as possible to be home games to attract big crowds, and for Rance's involvement in the club to boost their junior stocks and fuel the return of an under-20s Colts side.
In March 2020 Rance said he was “not going to completely rule out” a return to footy one day.
"I love the game and I love what I have contributed and I am not going to completely rule out the fact that I could come back," Rance told RRR.
"But at this stage I am really happy with the life balance that I have and I don't regret any of my time spent at Richmond because it made me who I am and I am proud of the effort that I put in there to achieve what we did.
"It's a constant thing – this is bad analogy but I am going to use it anyway – it's like being an alcoholic and constantly working at [bottle shop] Dan Murphy's.
"I know that if I go back to playing for Richmond I am going to love it so much and it is going to consume my life and my balance is going to go out again so I am happy where I am at."
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