Katie Brennan
Katie Brennan 23.02.20.jpg
Brennan with Richmond in February 2020
Personal information
Full name Katie Brennan
Date of birth (1992-10-02) 2 October 1992 (age 29)
Place of birth Brisbane, Queensland[1]
Original team(s) Darebin Falcons (VFLW)
Draft 2016 marquee selection
Debut Round 1, 2017, Western Bulldogs
vs. Fremantle, at VU Whitten Oval
Height 174 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s) Midfielder / centre-half forward
Club information
Current club Richmond
Number 3
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2017–2019 Western Bulldogs 13 (15)
2020– Richmond 22 (29)
Total 35 (44)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2017 The Allies 1 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of the 2022 season.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2017.
Career highlights
Source: AustralianFootball.com

Katie Brennan (born 2 October 1992) is an Australian rules footballer with and captain of the Richmond Football Club in the AFL Women's (AFLW). She previously played for and captained the Western Bulldogs from 2017 to 2019. Brennan was signed as a marquee player by the Bulldogs ahead of the inaugural AFL Women's season in 2017, and was their leading goalkicker in 2019.

Junior and state-league football

Brennan grew up on a large family property in Loganholme, a suburb 29 kilometres south-east of Brisbane but also spent periods of her youth living in England and Dubai.[2] She attended high school at Our Lady's College in the suburb of Annerley.[3]

She first played Australian rules football at the age of six in Auskick clinics at the Logan City Cobras Football Club.[4] Her first game of competitive football came that same year when she filled in for her older brother's under eights side, where she kicked seven goals on debut.[5] Brennan continued to play with the Logan Cobras boys through to girls eligibility age cut-off at 15, including in one season where she won a club best and fairest award at under 14s level.[5][6] From there, Brennan moved to the Logan youth girls league before moving up to the senior Queensland Women's League a year later. During her time with Logan, she played part in five consecutive premierships between 2006-2010.[7]

In 2007 and at the age of 14, Brennan was selected to represent the Queensland under-18 side for the first time. She would go on to captain the Queensland under-18 team three times between 2008-2010 and gain All-Australian honours in 2009 and 2011.[8][9][10] She switched to the Yeronga Football Club in 2011 and again tasted premiership success in the Queensland Women's League. In her final season of Queensland football, Brennan played for Yeronga but was unable to continue her premiership streak in 2012. She moved to Melbourne ahead of the 2013 season at the age of 20 and began playing for the Darebin Falcons in the Victorian Women's Football League (VWFL). She would play in her first VWFL premiership that season as Darebin defeated Diamond Creek by 49 points in the grand final.[11]

Brennan was drafted twenty-second overall by the Western Bulldogs in the 2013 women's draft and played for the club's representative side in exhibition matches through to 2016.[12] Brennan was the winner of the Susan Alberti Award for the Western Bulldogs's best female player at the end of the 2015 exhibition season.[8] She received the VFL Women’s Best and Fairest award and the VFL Women's leading goal-kicker award for her performances in the 2017 state league season including kicking 20 goals across the last three matches of the season.[13] This despite an ankle injury that limited part of her season.[14]

AFL Women's career

Western Bulldogs (2017–2019)

In July 2016, Brennan signed with the Western Bulldogs as one of their two marquee players ahead of the AFL Women's inaugural season.[15] In January 2017, she was announced as the inaugural captain of the Bulldogs.[16]

Brennan sustained an acute ankle injury in a pre-season practice match just one week before the start of the season, though eventually debuted in the club's inaugural match with the help of pain-killing injections.[17][18] After that match and one further, her pre-season ankle injury was re-aggravated and Brennan was forced to miss the following three matches.[19] She attempted to make a return to football for a round 6 match against Brisbane in her home state, but a late fitness test caused Brennan to severely tear her right quad muscle and ultimately miss the final two matches of the season.[20][21] She finished the season having kicked three goals in her two matches.[22][23]

Brennan with the Western Bulldogs in February 2018
Brennan with the Western Bulldogs in February 2018

In her round 1 return to AFL Women's in 2018, Brennan kicked a match-best three goals in a 26 point victory over Fremantle.[20] She would again be haunted by injury however, sustaining ligament damage to her right ankle in round 3. After three weeks on the sidelines she made her return in the Bulldogs' final match of the home and away season in round 7 against Melbourne.[24] She captained the Bulldogs to a win in that match, securing a home-state grand final the week following. Brennan was involved in a dangerous sling tackle in that match, however, pinning the arms of Melbourne's Harriet Cordner in a tackle that saw Cordner's head hit the ground in the follow-through. Having already received a reprimand from the league's match review officer, she was offered a one-week suspension for her action.[25] After unsuccessfully attempting to appeal her suspension, her suspension was increased to two weeks, with the suspension ultimately causing her to miss out on competing in the Bulldogs' Grand Final victory.[26]

On 23 March 2018, Brennan made a gender discrimination complaint against the AFL to the Australian Human Rights Commission over the two-match suspension which ultimately prevented her from playing in the Grand Final.[27][28] Her claim asserted that her suspension contravened Australia's Sex Discrimination Act 1984, as male AFL players would have only received fines rather than suspensions had they been found guilty of the same offence which she had been suspended for; as a result, women were being punished more harshly than men for the same offence.[29][30][31] On 18 April 2018, Brennan dropped her complaint against the AFL, after the AFL agreed to change its match review rules to remove anomalous differences between the men’s and women’s competitions, thereby ensuring greater consistency between the men’s and women’s competitions, with the AFL additionally reducing Brennan's suspension by one week.[32][33]

On 8 April 2019, the Bulldogs announced that Brennan had departed the club, with Brennan later saying that her decision had been "based purely around [her] need for a fresh start".[34]

Richmond (2020–present)

Brennan signed with Richmond on the second day of the 2019 trade and sign period, becoming the first player to sign with its AFL Women's team and the first AFLW player to sign a two-year contract with a club.[35] In January 2020 she was appointed the club's inaugural AFLW captain.[36] Brennan achieved selection in Champion Data's 2021 AFLW All-Star stats team, after leading the league for average score involvements in the 2021 AFL Women's season, totalling 4.8 a game.[37] In the 2021 AFL Women's season, Brennan was awarded with her maiden All-Australian blazer, named on the half forward position.[38][39]

Personal life

Brennan grew up playing football with her brother and they were both Brisbane Lions supporters

Between the ages of 15 and 17, Brennan suffered from bulimia.[40]

Outside of football, Brennan owns and operates a strength and conditioning business called KB Performance.[41]


Statistics are correct to the end of the 2021 season.[22]
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game)
2017 Western Bulldogs 3 2 3 1 19 7 26 7 8 1.5 0.5 9.5 3.5 13.0 3.5 4.0
2018 Western Bulldogs 3 4 6 2 33 6 39 16 9 1.5 0.5 8.3 1.5 9.8 4.0 2.3
2019 Western Bulldogs 3 7 6 5 59 15 74 23 17 0.9 0.7 8.4 2.1 10.6 3.3 2.4
2020 Richmond 3 4 1 4 38 11 49 6 16 0.3 1.0 9.5 2.8 12.3 1.5 4.0
2021 Richmond 3 9 14 7 88 32 120 28 23 1.6 0.8 9.8 3.6 13.3 3.1 2.6
Career 26 30 19 237 71 308 80 73 1.2 0.7 9.1 2.7 11.8 3.1 2.8

Honours and achievements




  1. ^ "Player Profile: Katie Brennan". Western Bulldogs. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  2. ^ Lane, Samantha (2018). Roar. Penguin Random House Australia. p. 166. ISBN 9780143788744.
  3. ^ "Inspiring alumnae". Our Lady's College Annerley. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  4. ^ Australian Story: Top footballer Katie Brennan reveals struggle with bulimia
  5. ^ a b Lane, Samantha (2018). Roar. Penguin Random House Australia. p. 167. ISBN 9780143788744.
  6. ^ Cavanagh, Chris (16 December 2015). "Katie Brennan still chasing her drream of pulling on an AFL jumper". Leader. News Ltd. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  7. ^ AFL Community: Players to watch - Katie Brennan
  8. ^ a b "Katie Brennan". Western Bulldogs. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  9. ^ Boswell, Tom (7 July 2013). "Katie Brennan played in the inaugural AFL women's exhibition match for Western Bulldogs against Melbourne at the MCG". Courier Mail. New Ltd. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  10. ^ AFL Community: Players to watch - Katie Brennan
  11. ^ Darebin Falcons make for undefeated season with demolition of Diamond Creek in Victorian Women's Football League grand final
  12. ^ Twomey, Callum (16 May 2013). "Pearce the first pick in AFL's inaugural women's draft". afl.com.au. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  13. ^ "BRENNAN WINS VFL WOMEN'S B&F". VFL. SportsTG. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  14. ^ McGowan, Marc (13 September 2017). "AFLW: Star Bulldog revitalised after tough times". AFL.com.au. Australian Football League. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Women's AFL: Who are the marquee players?". ABC. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  16. ^ Navaratnam, Dinny (30 January 2017). "Marquee Bulldog Katie Brennan named captain". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  17. ^ Lane, Samantha (2018). Roar. Penguin Random House Australia. p. 151. ISBN 9780143788744.
  18. ^ Lane, Samantha (17 February 2017). "Bulldogs top medicos work to get Katie Brennan back on field". The Age. Melbourne, Australia: Fairfax. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  19. ^ Lane, Samantha (2018). Roar. Penguin Random House Australia. p. 155. ISBN 9780143788744.
  20. ^ a b Guthrie, Ben (4 February 2018). "Match report: Dogs too good for Dockers". AFL Media. Telstra Media. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  21. ^ Lane, Samantha (2018). Roar. Penguin Random House Australia. p. 157. ISBN 9780143788744.
  22. ^ a b "Katie Brennan". Australian Football. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  23. ^ "AFLW: All the clubs' full lists after trade period - AFL.com.au". afl.com.au. Telstra Media. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  24. ^ Black, Sarah (15 March 2018). "AFLW teams: Brennan back for crucial clash". AFL Media. Telstra Media. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  25. ^ Black, Sarah (19 March 2018). "AFLW: Star Dog banned for Grand Final". AFL Media. Telstra Media. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  26. ^ "AFLW grand final: Western Bulldogs star Katie Brennan found guilty of rough conduct, will miss decider". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  27. ^ "Club statement: Katie Brennan". Western Bulldogs. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  28. ^ Chalkley-Rhoden, Stephanie. "AFLW Bulldogs captain Katie Brennan to challenge rules at Human Rights Commission". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  29. ^ "Katie Brennan: Australia's AFL accused of gender discrimination". BBC News. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  30. ^ Seear, Kate. "Katie Brennan's savvy legal move backs AFL into a corner". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  31. ^ Rutzler, Peter. "Aussie Rules footballer launches gender discrimination case following Grand Final suspension". iNews. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  32. ^ Cherny, Daniel. "Brennan drops human rights case as truce reached with AFL". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  33. ^ Sewell, Eliza. "AFL to change AFLW judicial system in concession match review penalties for females were unfair". Herald Sun. News Corp. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  34. ^ Black, Sarah (8 April 2019). "Brennan among two Dogs set to depart the Kennel". womens.afl. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  35. ^ Black, Sarah (9 April 2019). "Brennan a Tiger: Former Dogs' co-captain signs two-year deal". womens.afl. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  36. ^ "Katie Brennan becomes Richmond's inaugural AFLW captain". Richmond FC. Telstra Media. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  37. ^ Black, Sarah (19 June 2021). "All-Star stats team: Shock leaders, lone Lion makes the cut". womens.afl. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  38. ^ "REVEALED: The 2021 AFLW All-Australian team". womens.afl. 20 April 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  39. ^ Zita, David (20 April 2021). "Two AFLW greats reach footy immortality as All-Australian squad revealed". womens.afl. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  40. ^ Lane, Samantha (2018). Roar. Penguin Random House Australia. p. 174. ISBN 9780143788744.
  41. ^ Matthews, Bruce (27 July 2016). "Sixteen of the best: women's marquees named". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 3 September 2016.