Melbourne's Daniel Cross at a training session in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

THE FOOTBALL department squeeze has hit at Melbourne, with fitness coach Daniel Cross and development assistant Max Rooke remaining stood down.

All clubs been forced to make tough calls on which staff have returned as the season reboot approaches, with the AFL placing limits on expenditure and a maximum of 25 staff who can be in physical contact with players and attend the training facility.

DRAMATIC CUTS What the 25-person footy department might look like

Cross, who finished his career with two seasons at Melbourne after a 210-game career with the Western Bulldogs, and Rooke, a two-time premiership winner with Geelong, are not among the group that has returned to Dees training this week.

Cross, a former Dogs best and fairest winner, was a member of the Demons' fitness staff under performance manager Darren Burgess.


He had been with the Demons in an off-field role since his retirement at the end of 2015, including acting as the club's runner on match-day for a period.

Rooke joined the Demons as a development coach at the end of 2016, having previously been a part of the Cats and Suns' coaching panels following his retirement.

The dramatic changes across the competition have seen a number of officials remain stood down despite the season being set to resume in three weeks on June 11.


The AFL mandates that the group of 25 must include a doctor, psychologist, player development manager and compliance manager, with the rest of the roles at clubs' discretion.

Restructured coaching and fitness groups have hit the track across the competition this week.
reported on Wednesday that Sydney assistant coach Tadhg Kennelly, opposition analyst Stuart Maxfield and official Craig Holden had not been reinstated at the Swans.