IT APPEARS the AFL playing career of Brendan Whitecross is over after the delisted Hawk accepted a coaching role with North Melbourne.
The 28-year-old, who six days ago said he was keen to extend his AFL games tally beyond 111, will play for the Kangaroos' VFL team in 2019 as well as coaching in a development role.
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"Brendan will play an instrumental role in helping to develop our younger players," Kangaroos football manager Cameron Joyce said.
"He's always had great versatility, playing forward, back or through the midfield, which will be beneficial.
"He knows what it takes to be successful and work through adversity and will set a great example for our younger players coming through.
"Brendan has shown great character, resilience and determination and he will be able to add great value to our team on and off the field."
Whitecross' career as a Hawk finished with this year's VFL premiership after a career that included two knee reconstructions.
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He recorded just 27 games in the past five seasons and didn't play in any of the club's four AFL premierships during his time there, largely because of injuries.
While his priority had been to remain a player at AFL level because he believed he still had "a lot to offer not only on the field but off the field with the leadership and cultural aspect of my game", his interest in coaching had recently grown.
He spent most of this year at VFL level where he worked with the Hawks' younger listed players.
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"The coaching isn't something that I had considered in the past, but after the last 12 months it's certainly something that I'm going to look into if all else fails," Whitecross told Macquarie Sports Radio on October 30.
"The enjoyment I got out of helping younger guys this year was something I really loved.
"I'm in good spirits. One door closes and another one hopefully opens."