Richmond great poised for surprise return

Richmond premiership defender Alex Rance is reportedly set for a shock return to football in 2021.

According to The West Australian’s Jordan McArdle, Rance in discussions with Perth Football League C2-Grade outfit Swan Valley.

The 31-year-old is linked to the club through his cousin David Ellard, who played 63 AFL matches for Carlton and currently serves as a playing-coach at Swan Valley.

The five-time All-Australian reportedly only needs to play five games to qualify for the competition’s finals series.

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Rance played 200 games for the Tigers after making his AFL debut in 2009. He was awarded the Jack Dyer Medal in 2015 before winning a premiership with Richmond in 2017.

Unfortunately, Rance missed the majority of the 2019 season after rupturing his ACL in round 1 and was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Tigers claimed premiership glory.

Alex Rance of the Tigers.Source:Getty Images

He informed his teammates of the decision to retire in December 2019, opting to step away from the game and turn his attention to his family and faith.

Rance, a Jehovah’s Witness, listed his desire to pursue other areas of his life as the reason for finishing at the 200-game mark.

“I am someone who will always give their best to what they commit to, and I’m proud of the time, energy and dedication that I’ve put towards my football career,” Rance said last year.

“Right now, I feel I have served my purpose in terms of my on-field performance and cultural impact, and I’m so grateful to the football club for their support and care in allowing me to do that in my own unique way.

“Now I feel is the right time for me to put the same time and energy into other areas of my life that need it, and to prioritise the more important things to me, such as my spiritual growth, my family and friends.”

Shortly after his retirement, it was revealed Rance had split with his wife of seven years.

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