Western Bulldogs defender Ellyse Gamble has left the Kennel to pursue a playing career at expansion side Essendon for the upcoming AFLW season.
The 24-year-old played 24 games in the red, white and blue after being taken with the Club’s ninth selection in the 2016 draft.
She enjoyed a breakout 2021 campaign, playing eight of a possible nine games to cement herself in the Bulldogs’ backline, but endured an injury-riddled 2022 season and managed just three matches.
Bulldogs’ General Manager of Women’s Football, Debbie Lee, said while it was disappointing to lose another player to expansion, she understood Gamble’s decision.
“It’s obviously a shame to lose someone like Ellyse, who as a player is only just scratching the surface of her potential,” Lee said.
“She became an important part of our defence last season – her reliability and strength was second to none, and we have no doubt the program will miss having her around both on and off the field.
“Unfortunately this is one of the inevitable parts of expansion – losing players you have put time and investment into is never easy, but we understand the situation and what is needed to continue to grow the competition.”
Gamble joins Bonnie Toogood (Essendon) and Brooke Lochland (Sydney Swans) at expansion sides, with Isabel Huntington also requesting a move to the GWS Giants last month.