Western Bulldogs midfielder Amelia Van Oosterwijck has announced her AFLW retirement.
The 19-year-old made her AFLW debut in Round 2 against Melbourne last year - her only match at senior level - after joining the Bulldogs in the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft.
“To play at the top level you really need to be passionate about the game and what it takes to become an elite athlete – I tried to find that passion, but unfortunately where I am today it’s not in me,” Van Oosterwijck said.
“The decision to retire did not happen overnight – it was one that involved many conversations with my coaches, family, and close teammates at the Bulldogs.
“I understand I am only 19 years old, so who knows whether that passion may return and I may one day come back to AFLW.
“I’m forever grateful that the Bulldogs took a chance on me - the coaches and staff have not only taught me to be a better player, but also a better person.”
General Manager of Women’s Football, Debbie Lee, thanked Van Oosterwijck for her contributions in the red, white and blue.
“I think everyone would agree that Amelia’s decision to step away from the game is a courageous one – it speaks volumes about her character and maturity, which is respectfully beyond her years,” Lee said.
“Amelia’s time at the club has been valuable and it’s been terrific to watch her grow both on and off the field. We thank Amelia for her commitment and contribution over the past two seasons, and wish her the very best with her future endeavours.”
Van Oosterwijck plans to play out the 2021 VFLW season, which has two home-and-away rounds remaining plus a finals series if the Bulldogs qualify.