ADELAIDE veteran Richard Douglas will leave the Crows at the end of the season, but the 32-year-old is open to continuing his 245-game career elsewhere before hopefully transitioning into coaching.
The Crows released a statement on Thursday morning with the headline, "Dedicated Dougy to retire at season's end".
But a few hours later, Douglas told reporters at a press conference alongside coach Don Pyke that he hadn't closed the door on playing on for a 15th season at another club.
"I'm certainly open to any options," Douglas said.
"The body feels good, and you never say never.
"If the opportunity's there and clubs are interested, you'd certainly look at it."
Gold Coast could be an option for Douglas, with the Suns in desperate need of adding experienced players who can mentor their young talent.
"You'd be silly not to look at it," Douglas said.
"I'm open to other things like other players who have retired recently.
"I understand there are some clubs out there that are looking for experienced players, so if they come to you and approach you and the fit's right, then you'd entertain it.
"I'm not sure what the landscape is and I haven't spoken to any other clubs.
"That's something we'll work through in the next month, two months, and see what that looks like."
Richard Douglas taking on the Eagles back in 2008. Picture: AFL Photos
Douglas said he respected the Crows' decision when he was told they wouldn't renew his contract next year.
"The club's looking to go down another direction and need to get some youth into the list," he said.
Douglas is the second Crows player over the age of 30 – following defender Andy Otten, who has retired – to this week confirm they won't be at the club next year.
But Crows coach Don Pyke said it wasn't the signal of a complete overhaul of the club's list.
"I still think there's a place for a lot of our senior players in terms of their capacity to play the game at a really high standard," Pyke said.
"I don't think you're ringing a bell saying this is the start of a new dawn, or the end of an era. This is a couple of guys who have reached a decision to move on from their footy journey at the Adelaide Crows."
I don't think you're ringing a bell saying this is the start of a new dawn, or the end of an era - Don Pyke
Douglas has been a wonderful contributor since arriving at the Crows as the 16th pick in the 2005 NAB AFL Draft.
He was the club's best and fairest in 2010, was runner-up in 2013 and finished fifth in 2017 when they made the Grand Final.
"Just a smart player, he reads the play well," Pyke said.
"That's why a guy like 'Dougy' leans towards getting into coaching because he's a ripping guy who gets on well with everyone and he's got a good footy brain.
"I'm sure he'll go on and do something in the coaching area."
Douglas will potentially play his final game for the club against the Western Bulldogs at Ballarat on Sunday.
Key defender Alex Keath is set to return, while Jake Kelly (shin) and Riley Knight (hip) trained on Thursday and will be assessed.