HAWTHORN defender Catherine Brown has announced her retirement from AFLW effective immediately after two seasons with the Hawks.
The 29-year-old joined the club ahead of its inaugural AFLW season and went on to play every game in 2022.
Following a strong off-season, Brown was then elevated to Hawthorn's leadership group in 2023.
She played six games this season before rupturing her ACL in the lead-up to Hawthorn’s round 7 win over Sydney.
She previously spent four seasons at A-League Women's side Canberra United.
"Having overcome so much adversity and injury setbacks, it's been a privilege to make it as far as I did in AFLW," Brown said.
"I wouldn't be where I am without my family, teammates, coaches, support staff and of course, the amazing members and fans we have at the Hawks.
"I thank everyone who supported me throughout my two seasons in the brown and gold and can't wait to watch what this team produces in years to come."
CARLTON forward Phoebe McWilliams has called time after a seven-year, three-club career that started in round one of the AFLW's debut season.
McWilliams kicked Greater Western Sydney's first-ever goal in the Giants' 2017 opening-round loss to Adelaide, going on to be the club's leading goalkicker in its inaugural season.
The exciting forward played 14 games with the Giants before moving home to Victoria and racking up 31 appearances for Geelong from 2019 to 2022, then heading to Carlton for the start of season seven.
McWilliams fractured the navicular bone in her foot after four games with the Blues but returned this season to notch her 50th senior outing in round two.
"Everyone involved at the club, including the Carlton fans are amazing and have embraced me wholeheartedly," McWilliams told the club website on Thursday.
"The club has been immensely supportive during my time here, especially the medical and S&C team for all the hours they put into helping me during my rehab process last year.
"My career within the AFLW has been unforgettable. Being recruited as a 31-year-old I never thought I would play eight seasons at three amazing clubs. I am eternally grateful to those who have played a part in my 17-year football journey including eight years in the AFLW."
HAWTHORN veteran Tamara Luke will retire after Saturday's clash against Geelong.
Luke, 35, will play her 15th and final AFLW game when the Hawks face the Cats at GMHBA Stadium.
She played her first AFLW game for St Kilda in 2020 and had two seasons with the Saints before joining the Hawks ahead of season seven.
"As a young netball player from the country, it has been a dream come true to play AFLW for two fantastic teams in St Kilda and Hawthorn," Luke said.
"I'd like to thank everyone who supported me in my journey, including teammates, coaches, staff, members and fans."
Hawks general manager of football operations Max Bailey said: "Tam will forever be an inaugural Hawk and an inaugural leadership group member.
"She has epitomised our club values during her time here, making her a much-loved teammate and role model.
"We thank her for her contribution to the brown and gold and wish her all the best for her next chapter."
WEST Coast defender Jess Sedunary has announced her retirement after playing 35 games across six seasons.
Sedunary joined the Eagles in 2022 ahead of season seven, having previously played for Adelaide (2017-2019), where she was part of the premiership-winning side in 2017, St Kilda in 2020 and later returning to Adelaide in 2021 before heading west.
The 32-year-old was elevated into the Eagles’ leadership group ahead of the 2023 season and played an important role for her young and developing teammates.
"It's very emotional, I always knew it would be," Sedunary said.
"It's no different to the start of my career, I can't believe this happened and I'm just super grateful."
Sedunary will remain involved in the football world, continuing her work in the Eagles' Community Department.
"Knowing where the girls are going and how talented some of the young girls are, I put in a lot of work to help guide them so I'm really looking forward to being able to watch on and see what they do and what the team does and be a part of that in any way that I can," Sedunary said.
"I'm excited, my passion is really in helping and coaching and guiding the people around me so I’m really looking forward to still being part of the footy environment."
RENEE Garing has announced her retirement after seven seasons at Geelong.
The midfielder, who sat out the 2022 season before giving birth to son Parker, returned to match fitness in season seven.
Garing will play her 30th AFLW match on the weekend, and may play more before she hangs up the boots depending on the Cats' finals run.
“Despite being a Geelong supporter growing up, I could never have dreamt of playing for the Cats because it wasn’t a possibility at that point in time. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to pull on the Hoops and pave the way for future generations of young girls that can now dream of playing football at the elite level,” Garing said.
“From the very beginning, I have felt right at home at Geelong, from the early days of learning the fundamentals of the game, to being supported throughout my pregnancy journey with Parker, and my return to playing AFLW. Through all aspects of my journey, I couldn’t have asked for a better environment to help me to develop and thrive as an athlete and a mum.
“I would like to thank everyone that has played a role in my football journey, in particular my husband Tony, my son Parker and our parents for their ongoing support and encouragement.”
JESS Wuetschner will retire at the end of the season after eight seasons in the AFLW.
The Essendon forward, who played 38 games across six seasons at Brisbane before joining the Bombers ahead of their inaugural season said the timing was right.
“I’ve been playing football for 15 straight years, and I think now is a good opportunity to put that chapter behind me in a playing sense,” Wuetschner said.
“It hasn’t been an easy ride, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s something special about this club, and I’m incredibly grateful for (the opportunity to play at Essendon).
“We’ve created a really good bond, especially this year. You’re all really wonderful people and I’m super excited to watch your journeys going forward."
Wuetschner won a premiership with the Lions in 2021 and was named in the 2018 All-Australian side.
THREE-TIME premiership player and dual competition best and fairest winner Erin Phillips has announced her retirement from the AFLW.
The Port Adelaide captain played 46 games at Adelaide, where she won three premierships, before moving to Port Adelaide ahead of its inaugural season in season seven, 2022.
One of the game's most decorated players, Phillips captained the Power for two seasons.
Read the full story here.
WESTERN Bulldogs forward Richelle Cranston will retire from AFLW after Saturday's clash against North Melbourne.
Cranston, 34, is set to play her 60th and last AFLW game, having previously represented Melbourne and Geelong.
A two-time leading goalkicker with the Cats, Cranston has endured health issues, contributing to her decision to retire.
"It's definitely time – health-wise it's important to put that first and focus on my health before footy," she said.
"Getting through this year was a struggle to be honest, so to play a few games was awesome, and getting to run out this weekend with the girls will be amazing, especially at home."
Cranston played 13 games for the Demons before joining the Cats, where she spent three seasons.
She featured 21 times for the Bulldogs in the two seasons in 2022 and Saturday's clash against the Kangaroos will mark her fifth outing of this campaign.
"'Rocky' is a much-loved teammate and has brought so much to the club during her three seasons as a Bulldog," the club's executive director of football Chris Grant said.
"The way she has gone about this season demonstrates her professionalism and resilience, and willingness to give her all for the team.
"She will be missed by the entire program and club, but will always be welcome at VU Whitten Oval.
"We look forward to celebrating her career in Pride Round this weekend and wish her all the best for the future."
TEGAN Cunningham has announced her retirement from AFLW, becoming the second Hawthorn player in a week to call it a day.
Cunningham, 35, told her teammates on Tuesday that this season would be her last, having played 40 games for Melbourne and the Hawks over five seasons.
She follows Akec Makur Chuot, who announced she would be calling it quits last week.
The versatile Cunningham joined the Hawks ahead of their inaugural AFLW season in 2022, missing just two games in her first year in brown and gold while averaging six disposals, two marks and two tackles as a forward, defender and ruck.
She played 32 games at the Demons and was twice the club's leading goalkicker in 2018 and 2019.
Cunningham also had a distinguished WNBL career spanning across seven seasons, which included winning a championship with the Dandenong Rangers in 2012.
"I'll always look back fondly on my time in the AFLW, I was very lucky to play for two great clubs in Hawthorn and Melbourne," Cunningham said.
"I'd like to thank all my teammates and coaches over the journey for helping me play at the highest level, and of course our members and fans for cheering me along."
Akec Makur Chuot
HAWTHORN veteran Akec Makur Chuot has called time on her career and will hang up the boots at the end of the season.
Originally drafted by Fremantle with pick No.139 in 2016, the skilled utility went on to play 38 games for the Dockers, Richmond and Hawthorn over six seasons.
After beginning her career as a defender, Makur Chuot flourished following a transition to a new position on the wing when she landed at the Hawks ahead of season seven.
A trailblazer in the women's game, Makur Chuot's was the first South Sudanese woman to play AFLW.
The 31-year-old looked back fondly on her time in the game.
"It has been an honour to play 38 AFLW games for three amazing clubs," Makur Chuot said.
"As a young girl living in a refugee camp in Kenya, I could have never imagined having the career that I've had.
"Over my six seasons in the competition, I have made lifelong friends and memories on and off the field.
"I'd like to thank Fremantle, Richmond and Hawthorn for giving me a chance to live out my dreams and support me throughout my journey."
Hawthorn footy ops manager Max Bailey thanked Makur Chuot for her contribution to the brown and gold.
"We’re going to miss having Akec around the club," Bailey said.
"She is a larger-than-life character, who brought immense positivity with everything she did.
"We thank her for her contribution to our club and we wish her all the best with what comes next."
RETIRING CLASS OF 2023
Akec Makur Chuot