Matilda Sergeant has revealed to The West Australian the significant battle she’s been through after missing more than 12 months at the top level in the AFLW.

Up until this season when she made her return in round one, Sergeant last played for Fremantle in the 2019 preliminary final against Carlton.

Sergeant had been kept out of the game due to a hip injury and then a serious concussion when she was kicked in the head while attempting a smother.

“I spent most of last year with a headache,” Sergeant told The West Australian.

“Especially for uni, I was struggling to get assignments done and make things make sense.

“Around the end of November, I thought I was genuinely going to have to retire.

“I couldn’t even get through running sessions.

“Every time I was able to get out onto the track, I wanted to make it worthwhile because there were days where I rocked up with a headache and I wasn’t able to train.”

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 14: Matilda Sergeant of the Dockers tackles Chloe Scheer of the Crows during the 2021 AFLW Round 03 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Fremantle Dockers at Norwood Oval on February 14, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos)

Fortunately, Sergeant was able to arrive on the right treatment plan which has allowed her play symptom-free, and the defender has featured in every game so far this season.

While it was Fremantle’s only loss of the season, Sergeant was one of Fremantle’s best in round five against Brisbane where she kept Lions' star Dakota Davidson goalless.

“I play as a defensive mid anyway and I like to compete in the air so Coops (senior coach Trent Cooper) trusted I’d be able to compete well one on one and make good decisions coming out of the backline,” Sergeant said.

“I love the backline so I just tried to show my versatility.

“When there’s an opportunity to keep teams to only one or two goals, we go after that and try to maintain our structure for four quarters.”