The GIANTS’ newest AFLW recruit, Isadora McLeay, will spend the 2022 NAB AFLW Season on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury at the beginning of the club’s pre-season.

Scans have revealed the 18-year-old replacement player has ruptured her ACL, with the young GIANT experiencing a delay in her promising career.

McLeay will remain as part of the GIANTS’ squad throughout the 2022 season as she undergoes her rehabilitation, with the club backing in the NSW junior for the long term.

GIANTS coach Alan McConnell said:

“It’s devastating for Isadora but she’s in the best of hands as she begins her rehabilitation.

“She’ll still be a key part of our AFLW program off the field. She’s a developing young tall and we were happy to give her the certainty that she will be contracted past her injury.

“Isadora will undergo surgery in the comings weeks, and we know she’ll attack her rehabilitation with as much determination and intent as we’ve seen from her on the field.”

A replacement player has been named for young McLeay with fellow NSW talent, Ally Dallaway, getting the call up.

Dallaway has been in the GIANTS’ winter program for the last two years, under the watchful eye of coach Alan McConnell.

The 22-year-old is a key member of the East Coast Eagles in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, playing alongside fellow GIANTS teammates Alyce Parker, Tarni Evans and Georgia Garnett.

Playing predominantly in the midfield, Dallaway is known for her hard work ethic and her athletic ability.

McConnell congratulated Dallaway on the elevation.

“While it was extremely disappointing to lose Isadora, as one door temporarily closes another opens for one of our other talented locals,” he said.

“Ally is an exciting player who has been impressive in the local competition over the past couple of years.

“We look forward to seeing what progressions she can make in her game as she enters the top level permanently.”

The GIANTS have just completed their first official week of induction with the 2022 season set to get underway in January.