GWS 'devastated' after the shock loss of Jacinda Barclay

GREATER Western Sydney forward Jacinda Barclay has passed away at the age of 29. 

Barclay was a foundation Giant, joining the club through the 2016 NAB AFLW Draft and playing 23 of a possible 28 games over her four seasons.

'DEEPEST SYMPATHIES' Read the AFL statement on Jacinda Barclay

A highly talented athlete, football was the third sport Barclay had played at the elite level.

Jacinda Barclay hugs Alicia Eva during the AFLW clash between Collingwood and the GWS Giants at Olympic Park Oval on February, 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

Barclay was a pitcher for the Australian baseball team, winning a silver and two bronze medals across five World Cups.

She had previously been a gridiron quarterback for the Chicago Bliss in the Legends Football League in the US, and was a vocal campaigner for players to be paid for their efforts.

Upon moving back to Australia, Barclay returned to the sport she grew up playing in Perth, football, and was snapped up by the Giants with their ninth overall selection in the inaugural NAB AFLW Draft.

Giants chief executive David Matthews said: "Jacinda was a much-loved member of the Giants family and we are all devastated by her passing.

"Jacinda gave up a great deal to follow her sporting dreams around the world and we are grateful that she called our club home for four years."

Cora Staunton and Jacinda Barclay during the Giants' official 2020 team photo day at the WestConnex Centre in January. Picture: AFL Photos

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Barclay used to work on an oil rig for weeks at a time as an assistant life-support technician (piping supply gases in and out of the deep-sea divers' high-pressured living chambers), nearly missing the start of the 2019 season as she was out at sea.

Barclay had previously been placed on the inactive list (still a GWS player, but unavailable for selection) for the 2021 season. 

"Jacinda's spirit and infectious personality made her a popular and unforgettable member of the Giants family. She will always be a part of our club," Matthews said. 

"Our thoughts and condolences are with Jacinda’s family and friends during this extremely tough time."

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