Experienced Eagle Melissa Caulfield has announced her retirement after over a decade playing WAFLW and AFLW.
The versatile forward was signed to West Coast in April 2019 after two years with Fremantle’s AFLW team and played three seasons at the Eagles before retiring to focus on work and travel.
Caulfield played just one game in West Coast’s marquee season due to injury, but rebounded in 2021 to play almost every match and finish the season with three goals.
A member of the Eagles’ inaugural AFLW team, Caulfield has contributed strongly both on and off field as one of the senior members of the team.
Senior coach Michael Prior said the 33-year-old will be missed amongst the group.
“Mel has been a great contributor on the footy field as well as to club culture,” he said.
“She will definitely be missed, she’s given so much to the game in a lengthy career at WAFLW and AFLW level.
“One of the more experienced members of the group, Mel has been teaching the youngsters about forward craft and has been great in that regard also.
“We wish Mel the best of luck in her future endeavours.”
Caulfield said she’s proud to have created a pathway for the next generation of young footballers and grateful to have been a part of their journey.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given,” Caulfield said.
“I’m going to miss all the girls, I’ve had such a great experience, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster because I’ve had injuries along the way, but I’ve enjoyed myself a lot.
“I’m so glad we’ve been given the opportunity to give younger girls something to strive for, and I’m happy I got to be a part of building that pathway for them.
“I didn’t have footy as a young girl, so for me I wanted to do it for them, so they have this opportunity to play and be a professional footballer.
“I think it’s amazing they’ll be able to do this, when I was younger all I wanted to do was play football, and there were not as many pathways.
“Those girls coming through like Bella Lewis and Charlie Thomas, they’re that next phase of footballers that have played all the way through.
“I’m so grateful they’ve been able to have that pathway and to have been involved within it is amazing.”