Former Adelaide captain and club champion Rory Sloane forced into retirement by eye injury

Jake Santa Maria
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Rory Sloane has announced his retirement.
Rory Sloane has announced his retirement. Credit: AFL Media/AFL Media

Former Adelaide captain and one-club champion Rory Sloane has retired after 255 games as the Crows veteran said the risks of another eye injury “were too great.”

Sloane has not featured this season after requiring surgery to fix a detached retina in the pre-season, the second time he has had to undergo the operation.

Following an assessment with eye experts Sloane said the risk of continuing was too great and called time on his playing career.

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“I have given it my all to get back to playing and generally speaking my body is in great shape and I’m mentally fresh but ultimately, the risk of another eye injury is too great,” Sloane said in a club statement.

“More so the impact it could have on my life and the potential for loss of vision. I’ve come to realise this is definitely not like the more common injuries you can get from playing the game.

“Our footy club is a special place and I have absolutely loved every minute of my career, and along the way I have grown and experienced so much as a person and footballer.

“So many of my important life moments, including getting married and having children, have been intertwined with my Crows journey, as well as the opportunity to make lifelong friends and ride the ups and downs of their lives too.”

Sloane was drafted with pick No.44 in 2007 and went on to become one of Adelaide’s best with two club best & fairest wins and was All-Australian in 2016.

He was also named as he AFLPA’s Most Courageous Player in 2017 when the Crows made it to the grand final against Richmond.

He co-captained the side alongside Taylor Walker before becoming sole captain from 2020 to 2022.

While his playing days are over Sloane said he would not be walking away from the club anytime soon.

“I am not going anywhere in a hurry and will continue to be around the Club, helping out when and where I can, for the remainder of the season,” he said.

Rory Sloane and Taylor (Tex) Walker at their captaincy announcement.
Rory Sloane and Taylor (Tex) Walker at their captaincy announcement. Credit: Freelancer Dean Martin/News Corp Australia

“Footy and the Crows have been such a big part of my life and while I’m disappointed to not be playing anymore, there’s also a feeling of pride as well as excitement for what lies ahead for not just me and my family but the Club as well.”

Coach Matthew Nicks praised Sloane as one of the most influential figures to ever walk into the club.

“It’s hard to actually come up with the appropriate words to describe Sloaney’s impact on our club, other than to say he will go down as one of the most influential people to have ever come through the doors,” he said.

“I challenge anyone to find a more positive person and his courage and strength of leadership – in good and tough times – is right up there with the very best.”

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