Milestone match before retirement

Thunder skipper calls it a day

Emma Wolters notches up her 50th match for Bendigo Thunder on Sunday but will hang up her boots one game later, at the end of the season. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Emma Wolters notches up her 50th match for Bendigo Thunder on Sunday but will hang up her boots one game later, at the end of the season. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

BENDIGO Thunder dual premiership captain Emma Wolters will retire from football at season’s end.

The inspirational forward  announced her decision on the eve of her 50th match this Sunday.

She told her team-mates at training on Wednesday night.

“It is all a bit emotional, to be honest,” Wolters, 31, said.

“I have been there since day dot and to have captained two premiership sides has been just great.

“But my body is not holding up and it’s getting harder to get out of bed.”

With just two games left in the Victorian Women’s Football League premier division home-and-away season, Wolters will likely end on a tally of 51.

She hopes her milestone match against the Eastern Devils this weekend will be one to remember.

“They are just above us on the ladder, having had only one win, so hopefully we will put in a good performance.”

Wolters plans to return to the soccer pitch and play next winter for Epsom, where she won the Loris Browning Medal as the local league’s best player in 2009 and 2010.

She has not ruled out taking on a different role at Thunder in future, saying she was passionate about coaching, player development and mentoring.

“But I might have a bit of a rest first,” she laughed.

Thunder coach Russell Jeffrey said Wolters had been an outstanding leader and a great support to him.

“Besides her contribution to the team on the field as a player, she’s given terrific guidance to new players and those in the forward line.”

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