When Jess Trend ruptured her ACL for the first time, she said to herself that if she ever did it again a second time, she would retire from football.

Two knee reconstructions later, Trend is still not only playing football but will be running out for her 100th VWFL/ VFLW game in Saturday’s VFLW Qualifying Final against Essendon.

Beginning her journey with the Eastern Devils in 2012 (and rupturing her ACL for the first time), Trend then moved to the Bombers for one year after the VWFL became the VFLW.

After that, she was drafted to North Melbourne in the AFLW before crossing over to Fremantle.

When she returned to Melbourne, she called Hawthorn home. Now, she can’t think of a better side to run out with in such an impressive milestone.

“I think it’s just nice to achieve something after all the knee reconstructions that I’ve had,” Trend said.

“I see it as an achievement because of all the challenges I’ve overcome.”

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Those challenges included being struck down with a second knee injury in her first game as Hawthorn VFLW captain in 2021.

Trend said that although her focus is on Hawthorn’s clash with the Bombers, she understood the significance of her achievement.

“Your body really amazes you and these are the milestones you have to celebrate because you can’t really take them for granted,” the 30-year-old said.

“They’re everything that you work so hard for.”

When turning her attention to the game at hand, Trend said the Hawks were in for a tough battle against the minor premiers.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge but it’s always good to play a final against a very good side,” she said.

“If we play our best footy, I think we can definitely win it.

“They’re a very good side and we have huge respect for them but it’ll be just who shows up on the day.”

Catch Trend and the Hawks in action from 11.05am AEST on Saturday at Windy Hill.

The match will be available to watch live and free on afl.com.au while entry is also free for those who wish to attend.