FORMER Swan Dean Towers is taking charge of one of grassroots football's best-kept secrets next year.

Towers' 57-game, six-season career at the highest level came to an end in October when he was one of four Sydney delistings, although he was keen to find a second AFL home.

Instead, the 28-year-old forward signed as AFL Sydney club University of NSW-Eastern Suburbs' playing coach, which will coincide with him pursuing an exercise physiology university degree.

CLUB LISTS COMPARED Oldest? Youngest? Most experienced?

Towers will reunite with ex-teammate and close friend Brandon Jack at the Bulldogs and is hoping to lure freshly delisted Swans midfielder Jake Brown.

"I thought I had a bit more to give (in the AFL), hence why I put my hand up for a lifeline, but nothing eventuated," Towers told

"They were playing young guys ahead of me throughout most of the year, so it wasn't too much of a shock, but everything turned out pretty well.

"I'll be able to finish off uni in a couple of years and get to experience coaching while still playing, and my body's not too wrecked from playing AFL footy."

UNSW-Eastern Suburbs has produced eight AFL draftees in the past nine years, most recently top-10 pick Nick Blakey, but also All Australian Dane Rampe and 2014 Hawks premiership hero Will Langford.

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

Midfielder Errol Gulden, the AFL Under-16 Championships' best and fairest in 2018, is also tracking to be a first-round selection – like Towers himself was in 2012 – in two years' time.

"They've had a few kids drafted out of there and they get a few of the (ex-AFL) talent coming back as well after they finish, so they're a pretty proud club," Towers said.

"I'm looking forward to getting down there and getting stuck into it and throwing myself in the deep end a bit with coaching.

"They won the premiership last season and their list is only getting stronger, so I definitely want to go for the premiership defence, for sure."

NAB AFL DRAFT HUB Latest news, video and more

As for his AFL career, Towers said he would be eternally grateful to Sydney for giving him an opportunity as a 22-year-old.

"It was just a great experience, and it will hold me in really good stead for the rest of my working life pretty much," he said.

"I met a lot of good people, got a lot of good contacts and I'm just very appreciative for the six years I had there."