Injury-plagued midfielder Harley Bennell has vowed to do his best to revive his AFL career elsewhere after being let go by the Fremantle Dockers.
Bennell and Fremantle mutually agreed to part ways on Monday, ending a doomed four-year relationship that saw the former Sun play just two AFL games.
A series of calf injuries ruined Bennell's time at the Dockers, but the 26-year-old hasn't given up hope of earning an AFL lifeline elsewhere.
"I'm not retiring at this stage," Bennell said.
"I'm going to work really hard on rehabbing my calf injury with a view to giving myself the chance to have another crack at playing for an AFL club.
"I firmly believe that I am capable of getting back out there and playing at the highest level."
Bennell's most recent calf tear came three weeks ago in the WAFL, with the injury so serious it put an end to his season.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon confirmed recently that the Dockers would not be re-signing Bennell for a fifth year, but he urged rival clubs to take a punt on the classy midfielder.
Bennell, a former No.2 draft pick, appeared destined for greatness after bursting onto the scene with Gold Coast in 2011.
The Suns eventually got fed up with Bennell's off-field adventures, and were more than happy to trade him to Fremantle at the end of 2015.
Bennell had 81 AFL games to his name at that stage, but was able to add just two more at the Dockers - in 2017 - in between a horror run of continuous calf injuries.
The Dockers tried everything within their powers to get Bennell's calves right.
They sent him to Germany to work with renowned soft tissue specialist Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfarht.
And when that didn't work, they employed a physiotherapist that specialised in ballet in an outside-the-square attempt to strengthen up his calves.
Bennell looked to be on track for a fairytale AFL return this year after stringing together a series of strong displays in the WAFL.
But when his calf popped during a WAFL game last month, it effectively signalled the end for him at Fremantle.
"It's been an incredibly frustrating and disappointing period for Harley, and the club trying to get his body right to play," Fremantle football operations manager Peter Bell said.
"Harley's resilience and determination to overcome numerous set-backs has been amazing and a pointer to why he has indicated to the club that he wants to seek an opportunity elsewhere to play at the elite level."
Australian Associated Press