Western Bulldogs premiership defender Hannah Scott has announced her retirement from AFLW.
The foundation Bulldog and All Australian half-back managed 32 games over six years, first representing the red, white and blue in the 2015 AFL Women’s exhibition game.
Scott suffered an injury-riddled 2022 campaign, preventing the defender from playing this season.
She said it was a difficult decision to make, but she knew the time was right.
“The decision was always one that scared me, until one day it didn’t – I found myself reflecting a fair bit and came to a place of peace with walking away from the game,” Scott said.
“It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been through it, but I just had a sense of realisation wash over me - knowing that it was my time as I had given what I was meant to give to the game.
“Working a physically demanding job in construction puts your body at a higher risk of not only injury, but also mental, physical and emotional fatigue. Managing that football-work balance got harder, and I felt I was compromising both in the end. I had no time to do anything outside of the two, which put a strain not only on me, but my loved ones too.
“I’ll miss my teammates and the people around the club most – you’re there so often and all working towards one goal that you become a second family.
“When you include the exhibition matches, I’ve essentially been with the Bulldogs for eight years, so it’ll be a huge change in my life.”
Scott was a valued member of the Bulldogs’ back six, with her strength and physicality a key part of her game, and what helped her achieve the ultimate glory.
“The premiership is a huge highlight, and one I feel very privileged to have been a part of,” Scott said.
“Being in the leadership group for four seasons and earning an All Australian nod are personal achievements I’m also super proud of, but I think the highlight of being an inaugural AFLW player and living out my childhood dream of playing AFL at the highest level is something I’ll forever look back on.
“Knowing I did some pretty special things with some amazing people is something I’ll cherish forever.”
Bulldogs’ General Manager of Women’s Football, Debbie Lee, thanked Scott for her contributions to the Club.
“As one of our inaugural Bulldogs, we can’t thank Scotty enough for what she brought to the team and the Club - she has made it a better place. She is a much loved player, and her teammates will surely miss having her care, warmth and laughter around,” Lee said.
“While it was unfortunate to see injuries get in her way this season, to retire as a premiership player and All Australian defender is something not many can say.
“Her journey has been exceptional and she is one of very few players who have been a part of the AFLW generational change.
“We thank Scotty for her investment and contributions to our program, and wish her all the very best for the future.”
Scott arrived at the Kennel with pick 21 in the 2016 draft from Eastern Devils in the VWFL.