Daniel Cross (footballer)
Cross at training in July 2015
|Full name||Daniel Cross|
|Date of birth||30 March 1983|
|Original team(s)||Murray Bushrangers (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 56, 2000 National Draft|
|Debut||Round 10, 2002, Western Bulldogs
vs. Richmond, at MCG
|Height||187 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||87 kg (192 lb)|
|2002–2013||Western Bulldogs||210 (33)|
|International team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2015.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2010.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Daniel Cross (born 30 March 1983) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). A Charles Sutton Medallist with the Western Bulldogs, he finished his 249-game career with 210 games at the Western Bulldogs and 39 with Melbourne. He has served as the development and rehabilitation coach of the Melbourne Football Club since October 2015.
Early career (2002–2004)
Cross was recruited by the Western Bulldogs with the 56th overall selection in the 2000 national draft. He made his AFL debut in a 19-point victory against Richmond in round 10, 2002. Despite the Bulldogs winning the match, he managed only two disposals. He played a further three games for 2002. He played his first match for 2003 in round 4 against Essendon, but struggled to make a big impact. He was dropped after round 6 to the VFL to play with Weribee. After impressive performances with Werribee, Cross was recalled 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, he was again dropped. He was promoted to the AFL side in round 22, and managed 18 disposals, in what was an otherwise disappointing game for the Bulldogs due to losing by 84 points to the Brisbane Lions. He made the decision to stay with the Western Bulldogs for the 2004 season, despite only managing to play a total of ten games in his first three seasons.
After playing just two games in the first ten weeks of the 2004 season, Cross was able to play the remaining twelve matches of the season and was named the round 19 nominee for the Rising Star after recording 28 disposals against Hawthorn at the Telstra Dome.
Key midfielder at Western Bulldogs (2005–2010)
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, and he was vital in the win, collecting 24 possessions. He received his first ever Brownlow vote for his round 7 performance against Brisbane, where he recorded 29 possessions in the 23-point win. He finished the season with 563 disposals, and finished with the most handballs in the league with 384. Cross reached his 50-game milestone in round 4 2006, against Geelong where he collected 20 disposals in a 1-point victory over the Cats. He played his first finals match against Collingwood in the elimination final where he registered 32 disposals in a 41-point victory, however the Bulldogs lost the next week to West Coast. His season comprised many high-disposal matches and he finished the season third overall for disposals and second overall for handballs in the league. He suffered a serious injury against Brisbane Lions in round 11 2007 and missed the following six games. In his return match against Melbourne, he collected 30 disposals.
2008 saw Cross play a more integral role in the midfield, with Scott West suffering a long term injury. He played his 100th AFL game in round 15 against Melbourne, where he registered 25 disposals in a 31-point victory. He was one of the three Bulldogs players nominated for the 2008 MVP award, eventually won by Gary Ablett. The Bulldogs made it to the preliminary final, in what was the best on-field season for the team to that point in Cross' career, they lost the preliminary final to eventual premiers, Geelong, by 29 points. His season was rewarded with the Charles Sutton Medal as the club best-and-fairest, finishing 24 points ahead of Brownlow Medallist, Adam Cooney. He also received the inaugural Scott West award for the most courageous player and the Bruce Wilkinson award for the best player as voted by the trainers.
In October 2008, He married long-time girlfriend Samantha Mallia.
Cross played every match of the 2009 season, where he accumulated a total of 581 disposals. The Western Bulldogs again made the preliminary final, but lost the match to St Kilda by 7 points. He underwent a double ankle reconstruction in the off-season of 2009, but managed to return during the 2010 NAB Cup, where the Bulldogs were the eventual winners. He played every match of the season which saw the Bulldogs reach a third consecutive preliminary final, but ultimately lost to St Kilda by 24-points. He was the runner up in the best-and-fairest, finishing nine votes behind Ryan Griffen. He also played in the 2010 International Rules Series against Ireland.
Final years at Western Bulldogs (2011–2013)
He continued his consistent performances in 2011 where he averaged over 24 possessions per game for the seventh season in a row. He received the Scott West award and was ranked first at the club for tackles (125, averaging 5.7), handballs (323, averaging 14.7) and marks (125, averaging 5.7). He was nominated for the most courageous player at the AFL Players Association awards, which was eventually won by Brisbane Lions captain, Jonathan Brown. During 2012, he shifted between the midfield and defense. He won the Scott West award for the second consecutive year.
Cross played the first eight games of 2013 before being dropped from the senior side, where he played for the Bulldogs reserves side, Williamstown, before earning a recall in round 19 against Sydney. In the week leading to the final round clash with Melbourne, it was announced the Bulldogs would not renew Cross' contract, ending his 11-year playing career with the club, in addition, it was the first time in a decade he did not finish inside the top-10 for the best-and-fairest.
Move to Melbourne (2014–2015)
In November 2013, Cross signed with Melbourne as a delisted free agent on a one-year contract. Brought into the club due to his 'reputation for elite preparation and leadership to help out the younger players', he was named in the leadership group alongside Lynden Dunn and Chris Dawes in April 2014, replacing the injured Jack Trengove and retired Mitch Clark. He played the first thirteen matches of 2014 before succumbing to a broken leg during the round 14 match against North Melbourne, he played the remainder of the match, but was forced to miss the next five matches through injury. He was offered a contract extension for 2015 in July due to his leadership experience. He returned to the side in round 20 against Hawthorn and played the remaining four matches for the season. He won the Dick Taylor trophy for finishing fifth in the best-and-fairest behind Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince and Lynden Dunn, he was also rewarded with the James McDonald award for best team man.
Cross was maintained in the leadership group for 2015 and played every match for the season, mainly across half-back. He recorded an equal career-high 39 disposals against Fremantle in round 22, however, three days later, it was announced Melbourne would not offer Cross a contract extension and he subsequently announced his retirement effective after the round 23 match against Greater Western Sydney. He was awarded the Ron Barassi Jnr leadership award for 2015 alongside Jack Trengove. In October, he accepted an off-field role to stay at Melbourne as development and rehabilitation coach from 2016 onward.
Victoria Harbour incident
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. Following the incident, both Cross and Williams were awarded certificates of commendation by Hong Kong's Director of Marine.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- Burgan, Matt (6 October 2015). "Cross remains with club in off-field role". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- "Cross claims round 19 Rising Star nomination". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. 10 August 2004. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "2005 Team Stats & Season Highs". AFL Tables. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "2006 Team Stats & Season Highs". AFL Tables. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Cooney overlooked for Bulldogs' award". ABC Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Cross to tie the knot". The Border Mail. Fairfax Media. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Windley, Matt (2 October 2010). "Ryan Griffen wins Western Bulldogs best and fairest". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "2011 Player Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Gleeson, Michael (24 May 2013). "Bulldogs drop Cross after loss to Suns". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Dogs to farewell Cross". westernbulldogs.com.au. Bigpond. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Matthews, Matthew (5 December 2015). "New Demon Daniel Cross tells of pain of leaving Western Bulldogs; excited by new challenge". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Burgan, Matt (1 November 2013). "Cross joins Demons from Dogs". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Burgan, Matt (12 July 2014). "Cross to play on for Dees in 2015". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Ralph, Jon (16 April 2014). "The Buzz: Daniel Cross didn’t come with same price tag and expectations as other free agents, but having big impact at Melbourne". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Ryan, Peter (23 April 2014). "Dees name new leaders as Jamar return looms". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Guthrie, Ben (24 June 2014). "Daniel Cross out for at least a month". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Twomey, Callum (12 July 2014). "Demons re-sign veteran Daniel Cross for 2015". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Guthrie, Ben (4 September 2014). "Jones edges out young recruit in Dees' best and fairest". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Cross among key award winners". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Ryan, Peter (3 February 2015). "Jones named sole captain". melbournefc.com.au. BigPond. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Cross Calls It A Day–Veteran Melbourne midfielder has announced his retirement". Triple M Footy. Triple M. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Ryan, Peter (2 September 2015). "Veteran Demon Cross calls it a day, will play farewell match against Giants". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Burgan, Matt (11 September 2015). "Vince wins first B&F for Melbourne". MelbourneFC.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- Edmund, Sam; Stevens, Mark (5 October 2007). "Western Bulldogs rescue woman in Hong Kong". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia.
- Mair, Stacey (5 October 2007). "Bulldogs leap into harbour to save woman". WesternBulldogs.com.au. Bigpond. Archived from the original on 5 December 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Daniel Cross". AFL Tables. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
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