Adelaide United has welcomed 20-year-old Shadeene Evans ahead of the upcoming A-League season.
The Marra woman comes from a successful off-season with the NSW Women’s National Premier League's Northern Tigers, where she has netted five goals in 12 appearances.
An alumna of the John Moriarty Football initiative, Evans first joined the A-League in 2019, playing for Sydney FC and then Melbourne Victory.
Evans said it meant a lot to be joining Adelaide United.
“I've been training hard and can't wait to get on the pitch with my new teammates and have a fantastic season," she said.
“I'm proud as well of the special connection between Adelaide and my mentor, John Moriarty.
“I'm excited to be moving forward with my football career at a time when women's football is growing so much around the world especially in the lead up to the Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand."
Born in Borroloola, a remote community in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory, Evans was the inaugural scholarship recipient of John Moriarty Football, Australia’s most successful and longest-running Indigenous football initiative.
It was co-founded by Yanyuwa man John Moriarty, the first Indigenous footballer selected to play for Australia.
Moriarty said Evans talent was evident at a young age.
“Scouted by former Matildas coach, Alen Stajcic, Shay won her JMF scholarship to Sydney at 14 to study at Westfields Sports High School and undertake intensive football training and mentorship," he said.
“She won a scholarship to study at the University of New South Wales and we’re thrilled she is now signing with Adelaide United.
“This is a perfect next step in Shay’s football career and we are immensely proud of her.”
Moriarty has a special connection with the Adelaide football community. Moriarty’s football career began with South Australian First Division teams Port Thistle, Port Adelaide, and Adelaide Juventus, as well as a summer season with Adelaide Croatia.
He represented South Australia 17 times and is recognised in the Football Australia Hall of Fame.