GREATER Western Sydney captain Amanda Farrugia has retired on the eve of the 2020 pre-season, with Alicia Eva set to take the reins as skipper.
The 34-year-old has played all 21 games for the Giants over the past three years, finishing third in the club's 2018 best and fairest.
Farrugia is a PE teacher away from football and said she felt it was time to step away from the game.
"You can have very long careers or it can end pretty quickly. I'm lucky that I got three really, really good years. It's been some of the best years of my life and it's changed my life."— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) November 24, 2019
Amanda Farrugia announced her retirement to teammates ahead of pre-season starting. pic.twitter.com/Wq8xLCMnoY
"I’m incredibly honoured to have led this football club for three years and I’m grateful for the opportunity the AFL Women’s competition has afforded me," Farrugia told gwsgiants.com.au.
"This isn’t a competition you can do half-hearted and the time is right for me to make some time in my life for everything else.
"I put everything I had physically and emotionally into my elite football career and I’m looking forward to the next chapter for me."
Coach Alan McConnell said it was difficult to articulate the impact the lively midfielder has had on the AFLW side from its beginnings.
"For a young woman who grew up in Sydney with no connection to Australian rules football to be the first captain of our club is a phenomenal achievement," McConnell said.
"For all she’s achieved on the field, it’s the way she’s carried herself off the field that leaves a lasting legacy.
"Her leadership has helped us set up an incredibly strong AFLW program at our club while the time she gives back to her community, fans and young girls everywhere is second to none.
"She won’t be out on field in Giants colours any more but she’ll always be a Giant, with her impact to be felt for years to come."
The club said details around a replacement player for Farrugia will be communicated in time.