FORMER Adelaide assistant coach Martin Mattner will be forced to scour the building industry for work after cutting ties with the Crows last week.
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The Sydney premiership defender was the first high-profile assistant coach to lose his job amid the financial crunch that has forced clubs to slash costs in football department spending.
And there's only expected to be more that follow.
As clubs prepare for the $9.7million soft cap to be reduced by more than $3million next season - after an initial $1million in 2020 - it has left Mattner's contemporaries fearing for their future.
Told he wouldn't be re-contracted for 2021, Mattner mulled over a range of possibilities presented to him by the Crows for the rest of this year before opting for a mutual agreement and compensation that leaves destiny in his own hands.
"It wasn't the decision I wanted to make, I didn't want to be in this position, but I believe for myself and my family that the decision I made was the best one going forward," Mattner told AFL.com.au.
"I don't have anything to go to, but, the other thing was, I'm not going to have a job whenever this season ends.
"The decision in the end was, 'Do I leave now and have clarity for what my next few months look like?'
"And now I can move on, get on the front foot, and put my name out and try and find something else.
"Chatting to a few coaches and other people involved in footy, they still don't know what next year looks like or even the rest of this year.
"And that's guys who are contracted, they don't know what they're going to look like for next year.
Along with development coach Paul Thomas, Mattner is one of eight members of the Crows' football department to lose their jobs. The other cuts have come in high performance and game analysis with further positions undecided.
Crows' backline development coach Brent Reilly will take the reins to lead the club's defenders for the rest of this season.
Mattner hopes to remain in football and would even contemplate a return to state level where he led Sturt to back-to-back SANFL flags in 2017-2018.
"Being realistic, I think there's going to be more football coaches and staff out of jobs, it's going to be pretty tough in the near future, say 6-12 months," he said.
"It's going to be a pretty competitive market and there's going to be a lot of people looking for jobs.
"I'd love to stay in coaching and what level that is, that'll be decided in the next six months.
"For the near future, it'll be about trying to find a job. I did some carpentry study while I was playing so I might have to get back on the tools and see what the building and construction industry holds."
The 37-year-old is also prepared to move interstate, just as he did during a 222-game career that started at the Crows in 2002 and culminated in Swans colours in 2013.
"I'm very open to moving," he said.
"Even my time after Sturt, we did look at moving interstate and looking at what options were available."
In the interim, Mattner will continue to support his wife and young boys aged three and seven.