An in depth interview with Lisa De Vanna aired last week where she stated she was walking away from football. The Melbourne Victory now confirm that at this stage there are no plans for her return.
In a special report by ESPN's Michael Cain, Lisa De Vanna went into the trials and tribulations of the end of her career.
The former Matilda had first made her debut for Australia in 2004, going on to represent the nation 150 times and become the Matildas' second most capped player. This included four World Cup appearances. She last donned the Matildas jersey during their 2019 Women's World Cup game against Jamaica.
Quoted by Cain in the interview as saying:
"When I think about the 2007 World Cup, I think of something new," De Vanna recalls.
"When I think about 2011, I think about a new generation that's coming.
"When I think of the 2015 World Cup, I think about a new brand of football.
"And when I think about 2019, I think about the downfall of my career."
De Vanna was initially cut by then Matildas coach Ante Milicic after the 2019 WWC. She found out the news via Zoom while she was in lockdown in Italy, when she playing for Serie A side Fiorentina in 2019-20.
There were hopes of a return with the hiring of Tony Gustavsson last year. However, she was only called into one talent ID camp by the new coach, who ultimately chose not to select De Vanna in his team this year including during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
De Vanna went on to state the disappointment of this rejection, despite feeling she had fulfilled what she and Gustavsson had discussed as necessary during the last W-League season for a call up.
De Vanna spent 2020-21 with the Melbourne Victory, featuring in twelve matches for the club and scoring three goals. One of these was the W-League Goal of the Year. The Victory also went on to win the Championship.
Lisa De Vanna's incredible run from her own half wins @WLeague Goal of the Year for 2020/21 🔥 #DWAwards #MVFC pic.twitter.com/CPeH1PWvHS— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) June 23, 2021
"Personally, I don't think I earned the right to go to the Olympic Games," De Vanna admitted to Cain.
"But I at least should have been in that camp. I just think I'm at the point where I can't recover from what I've been through."
"It's very hard to put that jersey on when you don't have the support or you don't feel like you're respected.
"They've made it a lot easier for me to walk away. At this stage of my life, I don't want to... It's more like: 'How did this f---ing happen to me?'" she went on to explained to Cain.
"Everything, the way I thought it would end, it didn't. I'm just struggling to deal with it. I can't look at a football right now. I can't even walk my dog on a field.
"My biggest fear was I'd get forgotten in the game and not looked after. That scared me.
"If I knew how it would have ended 20 years ago, I wouldn't have went down those 20 years. I just want to be free as a person, like closure. Like time to make it better. I don't know. I'm heartbroken."
While not specifically saying she was retiring, De Vanna did go on in the interview with Cain that she was "walking away from football."
Her most recent club the Melbourne Victory confirmed today that: "At this stage, Lisa won't be re-joining the Club for the upcoming season."
If this is the end for De Vanna it is a somber one indeed. While she has been a divisive personality at times, her tenure and impact on the W-League and the Matildas deserves some recognition or formal goodby, for a player who gave so much.