PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Cyril Rioli of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Domain Stadium on September 25, 2015 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

AFL great Michael Long may have let slip that four-time Hawthorn premiership player Cyril Rioli may be eyeing a return to football.

Rioli, Long’s nephew, made a shock decision to retire from football in 2018 despite being one of the league’s best small forwards.

However, in an interview on Triple M’s The Friday Huddle, Long may have accidentally mentioned the 31-year-old was training for something new whilst working in the trade business.

“Who knows..he’s maybe training to, maybe look at another opportunity,” he said.

Damien Barrett revealed that a number of clubs including West Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast had pursued Rioli’s signature in last year’s off-season.

“Clubs were enquiring about him lading into last years trade period and draft… it was just a straight no,” Barrett said.

“The Brisbane Lions certainly went down the path of having a chat to him and i believe the Gold Coast Suns were interested too.”

Luke Darcy added that reuniting Rioli with the AFL would be a stellar spectacle for all.

“It’d be magical, you could imagine him stepping back in and doing something special,” Darcy said.