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Lavell calls time

Saturday’s game will be Amy Lavell's final game for Fremantle. Amy Lavell talks to Docker TV about her decision to retire from the AFLW.

Fremantle will farewell one of the inaugural members of the club’s AFLW leadership group on Saturday at Fremantle Oval, with co-vice captain Amy Lavell announcing she will retire from AFLW football after Freo’s season ending clash against Carlton.

Saturday’s game will be Lavell’s 14th and final game for Fremantle, with the forward being one of only six who have played every Freo game to date.

Despite never missing a game, the 31-year-old felt it was best to call time after having doubts in her ability to get up for every game of another season.

“It wasn’t made lightly but at the same time I think I’ve made a really good decision,” Lavell said.

“Most of it is to do with my body and my body’s ability to continue, especially through another pre-season and seven games.

“I wanted to give the opportunity to another girl to come up with the Fremantle Football Club.”

Lavell’s successful career stretches back well before joining Fremantle, winning five premierships with Coastal Titans, being named in the WAWFL team of the decade and winning the 2016 WAWFL goalkicking award.

While Lavell will farewell football at the highest level, she still has plans to continue playing with Subiaco, formerly the Coastal Titans, in the WAWFL.

Lavell said it was bittersweet to get the opportunity to play AFLW in the twilight of her career.

“I think if it was in my prime of my footy career, it might have given me five years of an AFLW career, rather than two,” Lavell said.

“But I also count myself lucky to have this incredible opportunity and for Fremantle to give me this opportunity to play these two seasons.”

Lavell paid tribute to Fremantle assistant coach Martine Pearman, with Pearman also coaching and playing alongside Lavell at the Titans.

“In the early days my biggest influence was Martine,” Lavell said.

“Another influence would definitely be my husband Jay and my parents. I’m lucky to have their support and they’ve helped me all the way through my career.” 

Lavell highlighted Fremantle’s first AFLW game and the team’s win at Optus Stadium as career highlights, along with being voten in by her peers as a leader at the club.

“I’d have to thank (senior coach) Michelle Cowan and the Fremantle Football Club for giving me the opportunity,” Lavell said.

“That’s something that I hold really dear to my heart, in that I had the opportunity to lead the girls as vice captain and be a part of the leadership group and culture going forward.”

A physical education teacher at Perth College, Lavell said she will enjoy being able to get back into full time teaching after taking time off to play the 2018 AFLW season.

“I’ve heard amongst the students that they’re very excited about my journey and I’m sure they’ll be happy to have me back,” Lavell said.

“I’m excited to get back there and teach again. I think they enjoy the fact that I’ve been given the opportunity to play on such a big stage.”

In going back to teach at the all-girls school, Lavell feels excited of the opportunities that await her students who wish to pursue a career in football.

“I hope that, for them, they now see it as an opportunity to do whatever they please,” Lavell said.

“That’s the most exciting thing about it all, that they see the positives out of it.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs