Roger Vaughan / AAP News
The dual sport superstar will step away from the AFLW to focus on helping the Netball Diamonds to go for gold in Birmingham.
Ash Brazill will focus on netball in a bid to earn Commonwealth Games selection and has put her AFLW career on hold.
Collingwood have announced that the 2019 All-Australian defender will not play for the Magpies this season, so she can maximise her chances of representing Australia later this year at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Brazill has told Collingwood teammates that she did not recover as well as hoped from last month’s Quad series in England, where she impressed for the Diamonds.
It was the first time she had represented Australia since 2019.
She has not played in the AFLW this season.
“My body didn’t pull up as well as I wanted it to coming home from England and I need to get my body in the best shape possible to try and play for Australia and make that Commonwealth Games team,” Brazill said.
“It breaks my heart as (this team) means the absolute world to me and I know I wouldn’t have this Diamonds opportunity if it wasn’t for you all.
“I remember being a five-year-old kid playing with teddy bears doing signatures pretending I’d won a medal at the Commonwealth Games and I really don’t want to let that little five-year-old down.
“As much as I’m letting you guys down and I feel selfish picking this, I’m not leaving.”
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Brazill, 32, has played 16 games for Collingwood and 12 for the Diamonds.
But she suffered an ACL tear in her right knee two years ago that put her dual sporting career on hold.
Brazill remains contracted with Collingwood’s AFLW team for 2023 and also plays for their Super League netball side.
She said playing in the AFLW had rekindled her love for netball.
“A couple of years ago I really thought about giving up netball,” she told her AFLW teammates.
“I joined this team and it just brought so much love back, not just for footy but for netball as well.
“It made me feel like I was 10 years younger – unfortunately my body is reminding me that I’m not 10 years younger.
“The reason this is the hardest decision is because of you.”