Alex Rance has quickly moved to rule out a possible AFL return after he played today for Essendon's VFL team.

The former Richmond star has long been linked with a possible move back into football after retiring at the end of 2019. Rance suffered a torn ACL in Round one and never returned to the game.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: (L-R) Trent Cotchin, David Astbury, Alex Rance and Dylan Grimes of the Tigers look on during the 2019 AFL round 01 match between the Carlton Blues and the Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 21, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Rance took to social media to pour water on any possible comeback speculation after his appearance in the red and black.

Rance said that this was by no means the start of a comeback and more just a happy accident.

“This is not a comeback,” Rance wrote.

“Playing for the Essendon VFL this weekend was simply a happy coincidence and a 1 time thing.

Rance attributed a trip to the Gold Coast as the reason he was able to help the Bombers fill their team.

“I was visiting my family on the Gold Coast and with COVID restrictions the VFL needed some fill ins.

“I will always be passionate about developing young athletes and it was a great opportunity to play with an alumni from The Academy Josh Eyre and our high performance manager and Essendon VFL high performance manager Jake Giannakis.

“I love the life balance I have now, with my priorities shifting and professional football not dominating my life.

“Thanks for the fun day Essendon.”

Rance wasn't the only former AFL player to lend the Bombers a hand. Former St Kilda number one draft pick Paddy McCartin also donned the sash for the afternoon.