North Melbourne delists Majak Daw as Kangaroos axe 11 players for 2021 season

Majak Daw’s AFL career is at a crossroad after he was among 11 players delisted by North Melbourne following its horror 2020 season.

Daw, whose AFL comeback after a life-threatening fall was one of the more inspiring stories of the season, was a casualty of the Kangaroos’ dire campaign that produced only three wins from 17 matches.

They will finish with the wooden spoon if Adelaide — currently in bottom place on the ladder level with the Kangaroos on 12 points — beats Richmond on Saturday.

Daw’s delisting will hit most Kangaroos supporters the hardest, with the defender’s rollercoaster 11-season stint at Arden Street ending after 54 matches.

He suffered hip and pelvic injuries in a fall from Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge in December 2018 and had two 15-centimetre-long metal rods inserted in each of his hips, while his rehabilitation involved him learning how to walk and run again.

Daw, who was the first Sudanese-born player to debut in the AFL back in 2013, did not play a league match for almost two years but he made his return last month against the Crows.

“I’ve made some really good mates at this place. I’ll miss the locker room banter … it just didn’t work out the way I wanted it to this year, there’s been challenges I’ve gone through,” Daw said in a North Melbourne statement.

“The last few years obviously haven’t been easy for me, and I can’t thank this footy club enough for what they’ve done for me.”

Majak Daw (L) and Nathan Vardy await a throw in in the Kangaroos versus Eagles match in Hobart.Majak Daw (L) and Nathan Vardy await a throw in in the Kangaroos versus Eagles match in Hobart.
Daw (left) played 54 AFL matches for the Kangaroos after making his debut in 2013.(AAP: Rob Blakers)

North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw labelled Daw’s effort to recover from the injuries he sustained in 2018 as “superhuman”.

“How Majak was able to physically recover and mentally get himself back to playing elite level football will be the stuff of legend in the years to come. It’s one of the more remarkable things I’ve seen in my time,” Shaw said.

The 29-year-old Daw joined the likes of Jasper Pittard and Jamie Macmillan among those delisted by the Kangaroos.

Pittard and Macmillan were members of the club’s leadership group this season.

Ben Jacobs, Paul Ahern, Mason Wood, Sam Durdin, Marley Williams, Joel Crocker, Lachie Hosie and Tom Murphy were the other Kangaroos players who did not have their contracts renewed.