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Veteran Demon Cross calls it a day, will play farewell match against Giants

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Daniel Cross will play his final AFL game against the Giants on Sunday - ${keywords}
Daniel Cross will play his final AFL game against the Giants on Sunday

MELBOURNE'S Daniel Cross is set to retire after the club decided not to offer him a new playing contract for 2016.

The Demons will offer the veteran a development/rehabilitation coaching role.

Cross - who is coming off an equal career high 39-touch game - will play his 249th and final match against Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The veteran crossed over to the Demons after a great career at the Western Bulldogs at the end of 2013 and has played 38 games in the red and blue, exceeding expectations when he joined the club.

Cross played 210 games with the Bulldogs including 11 finals. He won their club's best and fairest in 2008 and was placed in that award on five other occasions.

He also played in three consecutive preliminary finals with the Bulldogs.

Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said Cross had been an outstanding acquisition for the Demons.

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"'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," Mahoney said.

Cross finished fifth in the Demons' best and fairest in 2014 despite missing five games with a fracture in his leg and has been a consistent performer this season.

A renowned professional, Cross has provided an excellent example to the talented bunch of youngsters on the Demons' list.

In an emotional farewell speech, he urged his teammates to leave no stone unturned as they went about trying to climb back up the ladder.

"It is a privileged existence that we live as footballers and athletes and certainly not one I've taken for granted in my 15 years of playing," Cross said, the club website reported.

"I was never the most talented or fast player to have ever graced this wonderful game that we play, but I wanted to make sure that every single day of every single week that I wasn't satisfied until I improved myself as a player and was on the right path to help my team succeed.

"Unfortunately fairytales don't happen that often in this game, but I'm very proud of the story that I've written."