She called the move a hard decision, but “definitely something I have been thinking of for a little while”.
Brennan, who captained the Bulldogs in 2017-18 and was co-captain in 2019, will join the Tigers for their debut in 2020 alongside fellow expansion clubs St Kilda, Gold Coast and West Coast.
She played 13 games with the Bulldogs over three years, including all seven in the 2019 season when the club won only two of their seven games and finished at the bottom of conference A.
As the inaugural captain of the Bulldogs’ AFLW team, Brennan is no stranger to starting from scratch. She’s keen to dive into it, joking, “I wanted to come in and start training this morning.
“I’m chomping at the bit to get out there, to get training and particularly to meet the VFL team and start to really slot into the structure and program here.”
Bulldogs women’s football boss Debbie Lee confirmed Brennan’s departure and expressed her disappointment.
“Katie has been a foundation player of our women’s program, is a co-captain of our group and someone we have supported through some difficult periods, including injury and the tribunal process on the eve of our history-making AFLW premiership.”
“While we do understand that the current period of the competition’s expansion means that player movement is now common, the nature of one-year AFLW player contracts has made list retention difficult.”
The Bulldogs will also lose defender Libby Birch, who has requested a trade to the Melbourne Football Club.
Tigers president Peggy O’Neal called Brennan a “cornerstone” of the expansion side.
“We’re starting our team and we now have the cornerstone of what that might look like: an elite footballer that has elite standards in everything she does personally and professionally,” O’Neal said.
“Katie is just the start, but she’s a very important start.”
The following days of the AFLW season could see Brennan joined by outgoing Brisbane Lions tall Sabrina Frederick-Traub, who Richmond are understood to also be making a play for.
Yan is a reporter for The Age.