Monday evening’s Gabrielle Trainor Medal marked the last official club function for Alicia Eva as the GIANTS’ AFLW captain.
The 32-year-old made the announcement during her annual captain’s address that she will be stepping down from her role as captain.
Eva became just the second person to captain the GIANTS’ AFLW side, taking over from the inaugural club captain Amanda Farrugia ahead of the 2020 season.
She was vice-captain of the GIANTS at the time and had previously held a leadership role at her former club, the Collingwood Magpies.
The GIANTS Life Member ends her tenure as captain after five seasons and 43 games at the helm.
Eva took the GIANTS to their first finals series in 2020 but also had to navigate some of the toughest times, including leading the club through the death of teammate Jacinda Barclay as well as the challenges endured during COVID.
A natural leader, Eva’s leadership style has been described in the past as caring, passionate and inspiring.
“Being captain of this team has been my greatest honour,” Eva said at the Gabrielle Trainor Medal.
“I feel satisfied that I have left no stone unturned in working to make this team and this club better.
“The timing is right for me now and I look forward to continuing to play the game I love.
“But I need to allow some extra room for progressing life outside of football with my beautiful partner Claudia.”
Eva ensured those in the room that she was not retiring herself from the game and that she still has so much more give as a player.
“I look forward to kicking snags from the pocket or just celebrating when ‘Goldy’ [Zarlie Goldsworthy] or ‘JD’ [Jess Doyle] does it,” she said.
“And I look forward to supporting the next brigade of fantastic young ladies coming through this football club.”
AFLW Head Coach Cam Bernasconi paid his respects to the outgoing captain.
“You talk about pioneers of women’s footy and there is no better than Alicia Eva,” he said.
“She moved up here out of the big bubble of Victorian footy and Collingwood and you’ve just grown the game massively.
“She’s an incredible person, an incredible player and an incredible leader and the club should be forever grateful for what you have contributed.
“You’ve carried the load for such a long time and the exciting thing now is you can just run around and enjoy your footy just that little bit more.”