MARTY Gleeson doesn't know yet know what the future holds.
Even still, there's a quiet excitement about his life in the months and years to come.
The Koroit export was this past Friday delisted after 97 games at AFL powerhouse Essendon across nine seasons.
Gleeson still harbours hopes of landing on another AFL list and believes at just 27, he has plenty of good football in front of him.
But if that doesn't come to pass, there's potential a degree in economics and finance can yield a long and successful career.
"I've had the past week to sort of wrap my head around it all," Gleeson told The Standard.
I'm not too old and I feel like towards the end of the season, I was playing my role and some good footy. "If another opportunity came up I'd grab it with both hands. Anything can happen.- Marty Gleeson
"I'll take a bit of time to assess what I want to do with my life after footy and hopefully I can have a successful career doing whatever that is.
"I'm just really excited for what's next. I'd (consider) another opportunity at AFL level now that the dust has settled a little bit. I'm not too old and I feel like towards the end of the season, I was playing my role and some good footy for the team. "That's given me some confidence that if another opportunity came up I'd grab it with both hands. Anything can happen."
Gleeson played three senior games in 2021, including the Bombers' elimination final loss to the Western Bulldogs after half-back Nick Hind was unavailable due to COVID-19 exposure.
He said communication throughout the year meant he had a clear picture of the situation he was facing.
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"I've been in pretty constant dialogue with 'Truck' (Ben Rutten) throughout the year and I was aware where I was sitting in the pecking order and my role within the team," Gleeson said on SEN Afternoons.
"Throughout the year, I was in and out of the team a little bit. We had a few talks about what next year looks like, I knew throughout the year and towards the end of the year that it's going to be touch and go. That was the same message I got at my exit meetings.
"About a week ago, I got the call from Adrian (Dodoro) and Truck to come in and have a bit of a chat. They told me that they weren't going to offer me a contract for next year.
"Until you hear those words come out of their mouth, it doesn't quite feel real, but now I've had a bit of time to digest it.
"It's all part of the journey."
For now, Gleeson and partner Amelia are settled in Melbourne and are keen enjoy city life after the Victorian capitol emerged from lockdown this past Friday.
But can Hampden league fans expect to see the rebounding defender pull on a Saints guernsey?
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"I guess there's always that bit of burning desire to get back and play in a premiership with Koroit," Gleeson said.
"I was able to play a couple of senior games in 2011 and some in 2012 and I'd dreamt of doing that. To be able to do that was awesome.
"I've been pretty envious sitting back and watching them and I've been very proud to see the success they've had because they're all an absolute great bunch of fellas there."
In the meantime, Gleeson will stay conditioned in the event another AFL opportunity presents itself.
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