TWO DEMONS have called time on their careers, with Shae Sloane and Niamh McEvoy announcing their retirement from the AFL Women’s competition.
The duo shared the news earlier this week, having both made the decision at the end of Melbourne’s 2021 season.
For 28-year-old Sloane, it concludes a three-year pursuit at the top level, which was unfortunately plagued by injury.
The defender, who tore her right ACL in Round 1, 2019 and then again in December of that year, most recently suffered another setback, rupturing her left ACL at training in February.
Despite the luckless run, Sloane’s impact on the group has been unrivalled.
“Unfortunately, we never got to see the best of Shae on the field during her time with the Demons. However, those within the program have been fortunate to have had the pleasure of being involved with one of the most resilient, generous, and selfless people imaginable,” GM of AFLW Daniel McPherson told Melbourne Media.
“Despite her AFLW playing career being cruelly impacted by injury, Shae’s influence on our program has been immense.
“She had been an integral part of the backline group during the pre-season, and even after her injury, continued to provide incredible leadership and support to the playing group.
It was these traits that saw Sloane remain heavily involved in the Demons’ program from a coaching perspective – something Melbourne hopes can continue going forward.
“Shae also became an important part of Mick’s coaching group this season, playing a key role on match day,” McPherson said.
“Whilst this news brings a close to Shae’s contribution to our group from a playing perspective, which we thank her for, we are hopeful that she will remain involved in our program in an off-field capacity next year and beyond.”
McEvoy hangs up the boots after two years in the red and blue.
The Irish talent was recruited alongside Sinead Goldrick in October 2019, joining the Dees for the 2020 season where she played five games.
McEvoy, who won a fourth successive All-Ireland title with Dublin in the GAA before heading back to Melbourne this year, added another three senior games to her name in 2021, while also featuring for the Casey Demons in the VFLW.
“Niamh has been a terrific contributor to our AFLW program over the past two seasons,” McPherson said.
“Whilst she didn’t play as many AFLW games as she would have liked this season, her contribution to the program was significant.”
McEvoy departs the Dees as one of only four Irish players to pull on the red and blue guernsey.
And while she won’t be making the trip back this time around, the 30-year-old will forever be part of the Melbourne family.
“The competitiveness, professionalism, and experience Niamh brought across from her highly successful Gaelic Football career back in Ireland has benefitted our group enormously over the last two seasons,” McPherson said.
“Niamh has been a highly valued and much-loved member of our team in the last couple of years. We thank her for her contribution and wish her all the best for the future.”