Following her sixth season in the AFLW competition, key defender Tayla Bresland has announced her retirement from professional football.

After being recruited from Fremantle in 2021, the 26-year-old has strung together a solid two seasons in the West Coast Eagles’ backline alongside fellow retired defender Courtney Guard and experienced Belinda Smith.

Bresland played the first five matches in her first year as an Eagle before lining up in three games this season, including two in West Coast’s three-and-a-half week Melbourne hub.

Averaging 1.3 spoils and 2.3 tackles across the year, the defender has been quietly consistent when needed, as well as being a strong contributor to the Eagles’ off-field club culture.

Bresland will now focus on the next stages of her life away from football and career as a carpenter and Air Force Reservist.

Senior coach Michael Prior said Bresland will be sorely missed amongst the group.

“’Bres’ has been efficient on the field and she’s also done wonders for the club culture,” Prior said.

“Always the first to crack a joke and get a laugh amongst the group, ‘Bres’ has become a valued member of the Eagles team and she’ll definitely be missed amongst the girls.

“It’s been great to get to know her in my first season as coach, she’s an absolute crack up and can get a smile out of any of the girls.

“The room will definitely be a lot quieter without her in it next season.”

Bresland also said she’ll miss the club and relationships fostered, but is looking forward to the next chapter.

“It’s a bit sad but I’m stoked with the career I’ve had and the opportunities I’ve been given, and I’m excited for what future holds outside of footy," she said.

“I’ll be doing a bit more work, doing a bit more in the Air Force, which will be good.

“It is bittersweet though, I’ve been with some of the girls for my whole career and journey but this playing group has been very special and hard to leave them.

“I’m absolutely going to miss the girls, I’ve made forever friendships and can’t wait to continue watching all of them on their journey.

“I’ve definitely made some strong bonds with people and I’m going to miss seeing them every day.”