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'Risk is too great': Crows' Sloane calls time on career

The risk of further eye problems has brought about Rory Sloane's immediate retirement, with the Adelaide stalwart calling time on his 255-game AFL career.



Former Adelaide captain Rory Sloane has been forced into immediate retirement by the threat of further eye damage.


Sloane, 34, had a second bout of surgery on a detached retina in January, following an original procedure in 2021.


After extensive consultation with doctors and eye specialists, Sloane - who had already appeared to be in his final AFL season - informed his teammates on Monday he was calling time on his career.


"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," Sloane said.


"But ultimately, the risk of another eye injury is too great.


"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."


Sloane has had a lengthy history of eye injuries, including a torn retina in 2013 and a fractured eye socket in 2017.


The midfielder played 255 games for Adelaide across 16 seasons, winning club best and fairest awards in 2013 and 2016.


He came fourth in the Brownlow Medal and was All Australian in 2016, and crucial to the Crows' charge to the 2017 grand final.


The midfielder was appointed co-captain alongside Taylor Walker in 2019 and was sole skipper from 2020-2022.


"It's hard to actually come up with the appropriate words to describe Sloaney's impact on our club," coach Matthew Nicks said.


"Other than to say he will go down as one of the most influential people to have ever come through the doors.


"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.


"His on-field achievements speak for themselves but it's also his genuine care for others which stands out, and it's one of the fundamental values at our club."


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