Crows premiership player Jess Foley is stepping away from footy to concentrate on her career in medicine.
The former Australian and national league basketballer turned footballer proved a versatile member of the Club’s AFLW squad with the ability to play in the ruck and hold down a key position.
She played an integral role in Adelaide’s 2019 grand final victory, picking up 18 disposals and 27 hit-outs and going on to finish runner-up in the Club best and fairest, as well as earning an All-Australian nomination.
Foley said there were many reasons behind her decision to retire however the coronavirus pandemic had given her a new perspective.
“It has helped me reflect on what is really important and at this stage of my life, I want to concentrate on medicine,” Foley said.
“AFLW demands have meant I could only pursue it in a part-time capacity in recent times, plus I want to also move back to country Victoria to be closer to family.”
After a successful basketball career which included captaining the Adelaide Lightning and being drafted to the WNBA, Foley was among a number of elite athletes to switch sports as AFLW gained momentum.
“I did not know what to expect when at the age of 35 I signed on to play footy but I have loved every minute of my time at the Club,” she said.
“I leave with lifelong friendships while winning a premiership in front of more than 50,000 people at Adelaide Oval will always be one of the biggest highlights of my sporting career.
“Playing under coach Matt Clarke also brought the best out in me as an athlete, with his calm and relaxed approach allowing me to have fun and just play footy.”
Crows General Manager Football Administration Phil Harper said the Club would miss Foley’s on and off-field leadership.
“Jess was outstanding in last year’s premiership season and her experience in elite sporting environments enabled her to counsel our young players on elite sporting habits,” Harper said.
“We understand and respect the reasoning behind her retirement, and wish her all the best as she heads back home.”