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Li departs for Adelaide

Carlton AFLW player Sophie Li will not play for the Blues in 2019, after electing to remain in her home state of South Australia.

A combination of personal and work-related factors has resulted in the Adelaide-born midfielder choosing to stay in SA with her partner and immediate family.

Accepting Li’s decision, Carlton will transfer the 30-year-old to the Adelaide Crows and as compensation from the AFL, will receive a fourth-round selection – pick No.42 – in this year’s AFL Women’s National Draft.

The AFLW guidelines state that after an AFLW player commits to a club but has an unexpected change of circumstances, the AFL will assess the best course of action for all parties involved, including whether any compensation is provided to the clubs impacted.

Recruiting Li via the 2017 AFLW draft with pick No.28, the Norwood premiership player appeared in every game for the Blues in her debut season.

GM of Women’s Football Nicole Graves said while she accepted Li’s decision, she was disappointed the talented midfielder would not return to Ikon Park in 2019.

“Soph is a terrific player and person so we’ll be sad to see her go, but we understand her decision and reasoning behind wanting to return to Adelaide,” Graves said.

“Working closely with the AFL, we’re pleased we have received what we feel is an appropriate level of compensation and wish Soph all the best for next season.”

The 2018 NAB AFLW Draft will be held on Tuesday 23 October at Marvel Stadium, with Carlton now holding the following selections: 3, 16, 21, 27, 38, 40, 42 and 49.