Fremantle have re-structured their leadership group for Season 2024, with Ange Stannett to lead Fremantle’s AFLW side after being voted in as captain for the first time by the playing and coaching group. 

The leadership group will increase from five to six this year, with three vice captains named alongside Stannett. 

Former skipper Hayley Miller will have a new role as vice-captain supporting Stannett, along with key forward Aine Tighe and defender Laura Pugh, who were both leaders in 2023 and have been named as co-vice-captains with Miller. 

All-Australian defender Emma O’Driscoll and new recruit Ash Brazill will also join the group as new additions, with former leadership group member Gabby O’Sullivan opting not to nominate for the process this year. 

Stannett was proud to be voted in as captain by her peers for the season ahead, despite being ruled out for the season following an ACL injury. 

I’m extremely honoured to be the third women’s captain of this Club, and a bit taken aback to be honest, given my personal circumstances,” Stannett said. 

It doesn’t change the way you show up for the group, but it is going to mean it will look a bit different, and we’ll be leaning on our other leaders and the entire group. 

“I am so excited for how it is looking for 2024 and I’m very excited with the group we’ve put together, I can’t wait to get to work with all the girls.” 


Stannett touched on the importance of Hayley Miller as a leader, and how much she has learned from the former captain. 

“Hayley’s been massive in shaping me as a leader,” Stannett said. 

“I’ve worked alongside Hayley for many years, and I’ve seen the way she goes about it.  

“She’s the ultimate professional, she sets the standards, and we know what to expect from her. 

“These are qualities that I would love to be able to demonstrate for the group as well.” 

Thrilled with her fellow leaders, Stannett touched on what her game day role will look like, and expressed her full faith in the five that will help lead the side on-field. 

It’s going to be unique, and it’s probably something I’m yet to fully be comfortable with myself as well, being the sort of person that likes to get my hands dirty,” Stannett said.  

“(However), one thing I’ve learned over the last few weeks in particular, going through this injury, is that it’s how you choose to show up and how you choose to contribute to the group regardless of your own circumstances. 

“So, although it will look different for me this year on game day, I’ll be on the sidelines helping coach from the bench, and I take a lot of comfort knowing I’ve got a fantastic leadership group alongside me, who are going to be able to step up in those moments for the group.” 

Life member and vice-captain Hayley Miller said while there were mixed emotions for her personally, she was proud to pass the baton on to Stannett. 

“I’ve been so proud and honoured to captain this team for the past three seasons. It’s been the highlight of my career so far and I think it’s natural to feel a little level of sadness to move out of that role,” Miller said. 

“But I get to hand over the captaincy to Ange Stannett, someone who embodies our trademark in everything she does. I know she will do an incredible job and I will be right by her side in this next phase for our Club.” 

Fremantle’s Head of AFLW Claire Heffernan said she had seen Stannett reach new heights in her leadership over the past year and is confident she is the perfect fit despite being unable to take the field in 2024. 

“Ange is an amazing person and an incredibly important part of this Club, and we are thrilled to have her onboard as captain for season 2024,” Heffernan said. 

“We have seen her leadership capabilities go from strength to strength over the last few years and the care she has for her teammates, the program and the Club in general is something she continues to consistently display, even post-injury. 

“Even though Ange won’t be able to run out on the field on game day, we are confident our vice-captains and leaders will fill that role seamlessly to lead our side, and support Ange in her off-field role as captain.” 

Heffernan applauded Miller for her outstanding run as captain for the past three seasons and expressed the important role she will play for the side. 

“Hayley has made us extremely proud as captain, and we’ve seen so much growth both in her leadership and on a personal level over the past few years,” Heffernan said. 

“We have full confidence in Hayley to step into her new role and continue to guide the team alongside Stannett and fellow leaders, with the same team first attitude she has embraced in her previous years as a leader.”