Crowley, 31, played 188 games with the Dockers, before being handed a 12-month suspension by the AFL anti-doping tribunal for taking a banned substance in late 2014.
“I felt a bit like the deer in the headlights,” Crowley told Perth radio station 6PR.
“They said ‘look mate, we’re not looking to go with you next year, we’re looking to go in a different direction’.
“I respect that, I might not agree with it, but I respect that.
“I just wouldn’t have minded a bit of warning beforehand. I haven’t missed a training session all year, so they’ve had plenty of time to come up and have a chat I felt. I was a bit disappointed with that.
“Maybe I was a bit naïve,” he said.
“It is a unique circumstance having that 12 months off.
“I was pretty shocked from the meeting and was obviously really disappointed. It was a tough day.”
However, Crowley said that he has plenty still to offer and was keen to play on in 2016.
“The interchange cap coming in next year, that suits the way I play, having a really good aerobic capacity,” he said.
“Having that year off, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but it could be a blessing in disguise.
“I hadn’t missed a game for four or five years and that constant grind had taken its toll, whereas I’ve had a year off and feel like I’m 25 again.
“I’m hungry and I’ve got a point to prove.”