Hawthorn VFLW star Meg Hutchins has announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2021 season.
A stalwart of women’s football, Hutchins has built an incredibly impressive résumé throughout a career that began in 2003.
Six All Australian honours, four club leading goal kicker awards with the Eastern Devils and a member of Hawthorn’s VFLW premiership in 2018, Hutchins was also a foundational AFLW player, making 12 appearances for Collingwood across the first two years of the competition.
The 39-year-old celebrated her 250th game across the AFLW and VFLW (formerly known as VWFL) competitions in the Hawks’ win over Williamstown last month.
In addition to her on-field influence, Hutchins was also the Women’s Football Talent ID & Recruitment Officer at Hawthorn for two years.
CEO Justin Reeves thanked Hutchins for her incredible service to women’s football.
“Meg’s contribution to the foundations of women’s football at Hawthorn should not and will not will be forgotten,” Reeves said.
“Meg has been a super player, a great spokesperson and a great ambassador for our club and we look forward to Meg’s legacy enduring as we kick the door down to begin our AFLW journey.
“Meg will always be Hawthorn.”
GM – VFL & VFLW Football Dan Napoli echoed Reeves’ sentiments, stating that Hutchins has been a significant figure in the ongoing growth of the women’s game.
“As far as football CVs in the women’s game go, there’s not too many more exceptional than Meg Hutchins’,” Napoli said.
“Meg should be incredibly proud of what she has achieved over her 19 years in the sport, and how she has impacted the progression of the game in the women’s sphere.
“She has been a pivotal player in driving the standards of Hawthorn’s women’s football program. She’s played an important role in establishing the incredibly strong foundations that will hold us in good stead as we pursue entry into the AFLW competition.”
After sharing the news with her teammates, Hutchins reflected on the personal growth and lessons learned over her 19-year football journey.
“Growth has been a constant process throughout my career,” Hutchins said.
“Understanding what your purpose and your ‘why’ is when it comes to football is such an important part of the journey.
“Ultimately, I know that football is all about having fun and enjoying yourself.
“It’s the friendships and connections made along the way, the people that come into your life and never leave it.
“Football is in my blood, it’s the itch I need to scratch.
“I’m proud of where Hawthorn is at as a club, and I can’t wait to see us get an AFLW licence and take it up to the rest of the competition, because we deserve to be there and our loyal supporters deserve to have an AFLW team to support.”
Hutchins will play the final three games of Hawthorn VFLW’s home and away fixture, which includes meetings with Williamstown, Port Melbourne and Geelong.