Premiership Bulldog Nicole Callinan has called time on her AFLW career.
The utility announced her retirement in a team meeting on Thursday night, after playing 24 games in the red, white and blue – including the 2018 Grand Final win against Brisbane.
Callinan was drafted to the Bulldogs with pick No. 85 in 2016, making her debut in the opening round of the inaugural 2017 season.
The 37-year-old – known as ‘Mum’ to her teammates - was part of the Bulldogs leadership group for three seasons.
Prior to her AFLW career, Callinan played in four premierships with Darebin Falcons, and has represented both Australia and Victoria in indoor cricket.
“What a journey it’s been – to be part of this club has been something special,” Callinan said.
“Going back to draft day, sitting there with my Mum and Dad, and being picked up by a club that is filled with so much culture, family, love and support – I couldn’t have chosen a better club to come to.
“I was happy with one season, and I ended up with four and a premiership – I’ll take that.
“I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s come to the time where you know in your head – to decide this year, I’ve got to get onto my next phase in life.”
Callinan also thanked her teammates, coaches, support staff, family and friends.
“You’ve helped me be the best I am today – I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said.
“This group will go a long way – just trust that, trust your own ability, and give it all you’ve got.
“’Mum’ will always be here for you.”
General Manager of Women’s Football, Debbie Lee, thanked Callinan for her contribution to the club.
“Nicole has been outstanding in terms of the commitment and contribution she’s made to the Western Bulldogs and she will always be part of our club,” Lee said.
“What she brings is unique - Nicole has an uncanny way of connecting with people at all levels and ages, and is a fantastic and genuine human being.
“We’re really grateful she pulled on the red, white, and blue, and know she will continue to do amazing things – she always does, and we wish her all the best.”