Daniel Cross (footballer)

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Daniel Cross
Daniel Cross Prior To Warm Up.jpg
Daniel Cross Prior To Warm Up in 2013
Personal information
Full name Daniel Cross
Nickname(s) Crossy
Date of birth (1983-03-30) 30 March 1983 (age 31)
Original team Murray Bushrangers (TAC Cup)
Draft #56, 2000 National Draft, Western Bulldogs
Height/Weight 187cm / 87kg
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current club Melbourne Football Club
Number 18
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
Western Bulldogs
210 (33)
17 (1)
227 (34)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2010 Australia 2
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2014 season.
Career highlights

Daniel Cross (born 30 March 1983) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the Melbourne Football Club of the Australian Football League (AFL).

Cross was taken pick 56 in the 2000 National Draft and made his debut two years later. Originally from Albury, Cross played 210 games for the Bulldogs, 11 of them in finals. He won the Western Bulldogs best and fairest award in 2008, finishing ahead of that year's Brownlow Medallist, Adam Cooney and finished second in the same award in each of the following two seasons. On 1 November 2013, Cross was signed by the Melbourne Football Club.



Cross made his AFL debut in a 19 point victory over Richmond in Round 10. Despite the Bulldogs winning the match, Cross was hardly sighted and managed just two disposals.

The following week was even more disappointing for Cross as he was not even able to get a kick in a huge victory over Fremantle. Cross only played a further two games in the 2002 season, it what was a relatively disappointing start to his AFL career.


Cross made his first 2003 appearance in Round 4 against Essendon but struggled to once again make a big impact. After two more lackluster performances the following weeks, Cross was dropped to the VFL to play with the Werribee Tigers. After impressive performances with Werribbe, Cross was able to earn a recall in to the Bulldogs side. His return to the Bulldogs side was good enough for him to keep his place in the side the following week, but after a disappointing performance against Richmond in Round 17, the AFL career of Daniel Cross appeared to be in jeopardy. That was until a solid performance in Round 22 gave himself, and the Western Bulldogs, hope that he had a future at the club. Cross managed 18 disposals in Round 22, in what was an otherwise disappointing game as the Bulldogs lost by 84 points to the Brisbane Lions.


Cross made the decision to stay with the Western Bulldogs for the 2004 season, despite only managing to play a total of 10 games in his first three seasons. Cross had contemplated leaving the Bulldogs due to lack of opportunities but was assured he had a future at the club by then coach Terry Wallace.

After playing just two games in the first 10 weeks of the 2004 season, Cross was able to play the remaining 12 games of the season. Cross was solid, without being spectacular, for the following 6 weeks, averaging 12 possessions. Cross has just 7 possessions in Round 18 against West Coast but all of his hard work finally began to pay off as Cross earnt himself a NAB Rising Star nomination in Round 19, against Hawthorn.

Despite the Bulldogs losing a nail-biter, Cross managed a then career-high 29 disposals. Cross was again dominant the following week when he collected 26 disposals against eventual premiers Port Adelaide.


The Western Bulldogs made an impressive start to the 2005 campaign under new coach Rodney Eade. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 32 point victory over Collingwood. Cross was vital in the win, collecting 24 possessions. After breaking the 20 possession barrier for the following 5 weeks, Cross ended up earning his first ever Brownlow Medal vote for his Round 7 performance against the Brisbane Lions, where he had an impressive 29 possessions in the 23 point win.

Cross continued to rack up the possessions, and had his first 30 possession game against Essendon in Round 10. The outstanding form of Cross continued as he managed more than 20 disposals in every game until Round 16. His 18 disposal game in Round 16 was still impressive, considering his performance the previous week. Cross was seemingly everywhere in Round 15 against Fremantle as he had a staggering 35 possessions.

Cross got over 20 possessions in every game after Round 16, but it was not enough to give the Bulldogs a finals berth. Cross finished the season with a highly impressive 563 disposals. This included 21 out of 22 games in which he obtained more than twenty possessions. Cross managed more handballs then any other played in the competition in 2005, and finished 9th in terms of possessions.

The Western Bulldogs ended up finishing in 9th position, just one sport out of the finals and Daniel Cross was winning many admirers for his outstanding season.


Cross was again a regular in the Bulldogs midfield, alongside Scott West and Adam Cooney. Cross reached his 50 game milestone in Round 4 against Geelong. Cross was able to rise to the occasion, collecting 20 disposals in a thrilling 1 point victory over the Cats.

The Bulldogs opened the season with 4 wins from 4 matches, but lost their next two. They were back to winning ways in Round 7, against Port Adelaide. Cross was magnificent as the Bulldogs ran rampant against the Power, winning by 76 points at AAMI Stadium. Cross was constantly dominating the midfield and after a quiet game against Sydney in round 8, Cross got 20+ disposals in every remaining match of the home and away season. That remarkable effort was good enough to help the Western Bulldogs reach the AFL finals. Cross finished 2nd overall for handballs and third in the overall disposal count.

In Cross' first ever AFL Finals appearance, he lined up in the Bulldogs side which faced off against Collingwood in the Elimination Final. Cross was outstanding in his first ever finals appearance, his 32 disposals crucial in the Western Bulldogs 41 point victory. However, the Bulldogs lost the following week against eventual premiers West Coast. Cross managed just 18 disposals for the match in what was a disappointing way to end a fantastic season.


Cross made a superb start to the 2007 season, getting 37 disposals in a hard fought victory over Geelong. Cross continued to blossom as a footballer, as he continued to rack up the possessions. Despite his continues good form, Cross was often overlooked in Brownlow Medal voting due to his perceived "in and under" and "link-up" style play in which Cross was usually disposing of the ball mostly by hand.

Cross unfortunately suffered a serious injury against Brisbane Lions in Round 11 and missed the following six games. Cross made a fantastic return with a 30 disposal performance against Melbourne, but was unable to stop the Bulldogs losing streak as they were unable to win any of their last 7 matches.


The Western Bulldogs opened up the 2008 campaign against the Adelaide Crows and won a thrilling encounter by 3 points, with Cross again amongst the best players for the Bulldogs. With legendary midfielder Scott West suffering a long term injury, Cross has taken on a much greater midfield role, and is constantly performing at a high level, making him one of the competitions elite midfielders. Cross played his 100th AFL game in Round 15 against Melbourne. Cross stood tall in his milestone game, claiming 25 possessions in a dominating display.

Cross is currently leading the AFL in handballs and is averaging 26 disposals a game. Despite being amongst the Bulldogs best, Cross was unable to stop the Western Bulldogs from losing their next two matches. After getting smashed in a top of the table clash against the Cats in Round 16, Cross put his body on the line on numerous occasions the following week against Carlton, managing 27 possessions, but was unable to help the Bulldogs across the line. Cross finished the game with 12 contested possessions and was regarded as the Bulldogs best player.

The Bulldogs were back on the winners list the following week against the Swans, with Cross having a big impact, claiming 23 possessions. However, the Bulldogs were unable to back up their performance at Manuka Oval with a win the following week, as they stumbled to 20 point loss against the in-form North Melbourne. Despite having 23 possessions, Cross' performance was not up to his typically dominating standards set in previous rounds. Cross is amongst the favourites for the 2008 Most Courageous player award, an award chosen by the players. Cross was also one of the Western Bulldogs three nominated players for the 2008 MVP award.

Cross accumilated 31 possessions in the final home and away game of the season, a 9 point loss against Adelaide. Despite the loss, the Western Bulldogs finished in 3rd place, their highest position since Cross joined the club. The Bulldogs faced off against 2nd placed Hawthorn in the first week of the finals. The Western Bulldogs were completed outclassed by the Hawks, despite Daniel Cross earning a career high 39 disposals.

Commentator Dennis Cometti said Cross was the only Bulldogs player who could walk off the ground with "his head held high". The Bulldogs bounced back the following week against Sydney and booked a spot in the Preliminary Final against Geelong. The Western Bulldogs season came to an end in the Preliminary Final after losing by 29 points. Daniel Cross was seen as the Bulldogs best player, gathering 29 possessions, with 11 of them being contested.

Cross' brilliant 2008 season was capped off by winning the Charles Sutton Medal, the Bulldogs best and fairest award. Cross upstaged Brownlow Medal winner Adam Cooney to claim the award, as well as being the inaugural winner of the Scott West Award for most courageous player and the winner of the Bruce Wilkinson Award for best player as voted by the trainers. Cross was praised by Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson at the presentation who said "His determination and drive is just massive and that's why he's become one of the elite midfielders in the competition".

In October 2008, Cross married long-time girlfriend Samantha Mallia.[1]


Cross' 2009 season got off to a great start, racking up 29 possessions in a win over Fremantle. Cross played every game of the 2009 season, despite not being 100% for the whole season due to a persistent ankle injury. Cross accumilated a total of 581 disposals in 2009, a season in which the Western Bulldogs made another Preliminary final.

The Bulldogs lost the Preliminary final to St Kilda by 7 points, Cross was one of the Dogs better players on the night, with only 4 teammates having more disposals.


Off the back of Double Ankle Reconstructions in the off season of 2009 Cross played in the 2010 NAB Cup winning Bulldogs side and was again at his consistent best during the Home and Away Season with almost every game played mentioned in the Best On Ground votes with his wiliness to compete week in week out culminating in a 33 disposal game against Port Adelaide in Round 16.

In the 2010 Preliminary Final the Bulldogs would again go down to St Kilda by 24 Points, Cross again was one of the better players that night with 22 disposals.

Cross also played in the 2010 International Rules Series against Ireland.


The ever-consistent performer put his body on the line in trademark fashion in 2011 and averaged over 24 possessions per game for the seventh season in a row. The club stalwart’s season was acknowledged by taking out the Scott West Most Courageous Player award. Ranked No. 1 at the club for tackles (125, averaging 5.7), handballs (323, averaging 14.7) and marks (125, averaging 5.7) in 2011. His fearless style of play was recognised with a nomination for Most Courageous Player at the AFLPA awards.


Without attracting any excess attention the veteran ranked second in average handballs at the Club in 2012, third in average disposals, third it total marks, fifth in hitouts, fifth in average tackles and third in disposal efficiency. He shifted his time between the midfield and defence, providing extra assistance and experience to the back six when needed. Cross capped off Season 2012 taking out the Most Courageous Award at the Charles Sutton Medal for the second consecutive year.


Cross played the first 8 games of the season before being dropped from the senior side, He played for the Bulldogs Reserves side Williamstown Seagulls before earning a recall in Round 19 against the Sydney Swans.

Just before their final round clash with Melbourne it was announced the Bulldogs would not renew Cross contract ending his 11-year playing career with the Club. He stated while disappointed to be let go but he loves the Club and understands the direction it would be taking.

Melbourne (2014–present)[edit]

On 1 November 2013, Cross signed with the Melbourne Football Club.[2]

Victoria Harbour incident[edit]

On 4 October 2007, Cross and teammate Tom Williams leaped into the water of Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong to rescue a schoolgirl attempting to commit suicide. Despite the girl not wanting to be saved, they hauled her to safety after hearing bystanders screaming for help. When they emerged from the harbour they both had minor bruises and cuts. Both were reported to be in good spirits after the incident.[3]

Following the incident, both Cross and Williams were awarded certificates of commendation by Hong Kong's Director of Marine.[4]


Statistics are correct to the end of the 2014 season[5]
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team # Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2002 Western Bulldogs 38 4 1 0 5 7 12 4 3 0.3 0.0 1.3 1.8 3.0 1.0 0.8
2003 Western Bulldogs 38 6 0 1 19 36 55 19 9 0.0 0.2 3.2 6.0 9.2 3.2 1.5
2004 Western Bulldogs 38 14 1 0 55 131 186 43 39 0.1 0.0 3.9 9.4 13.3 3.1 2.8
2005 Western Bulldogs 4 22 2 5 179 384 563 127 94 0.1 0.2 8.1 17.5 25.6 5.8 4.3
2006 Western Bulldogs 4 24 9 6 262 363 625 146 108 0.4 0.3 10.9 15.1 26.0 6.1 4.5
2007 Western Bulldogs 4 15 1 2 126 241 367 89 59 0.1 0.1 8.4 16.1 24.5 5.9 3.9
2008 Western Bulldogs 4 25 5 2 241 422 663 138 117 0.2 0.1 9.6 16.9 26.5 5.5 4.7
2009 Western Bulldogs 4 23 5 2 162 419 581 128 100 0.2 0.1 7.0 18.2 25.3 5.6 4.3
2010 Western Bulldogs 4 25 2 4 238 423 661 139 136 0.1 0.2 9.5 16.9 26.4 5.6 5.4
2011 Western Bulldogs 4 22 1 2 207 323 530 125 125 0.0 0.1 9.4 14.7 24.1 5.7 5.7
2012 Western Bulldogs 4 17 2 1 163 242 405 88 69 0.1 0.1 9.6 14.2 23.8 5.2 4.1
2013 Western Bulldogs 4 13 4 2 117 177 294 71 57 0.3 0.2 9.0 13.6 22.6 5.5 4.4
2014 Melbourne 18 17 1 3 123 244 367 71 90 0.1 0.2 7.2 14.4 21.6 4.2 5.3
Career 227 34 30 1897 3412 5309 1188 1006 0.1 0.1 8.4 15.0 23.4 5.2 4.4


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Brian Lake
Western Bulldogs Best and Fairest winner
Succeeded by
Matthew Boyd
Preceded by
Western Bulldogs Scott West Award winner
Succeeded by
Dale Morris
Preceded by
Liam Picken
Western Bulldogs Scott West Award winner
Succeeded by
Dale Morris