Natasha Rigby (centre) and Morgan Aquino on the pitch together. Photo supplied by Perth Glory.

Perth Glory’s A-League Women captain Natasha Rigby announced her retirement on Friday morning.

Rigby, who played in two grand finals for the Glory (2017 and 2019) and received the captains armband in 2019, said the decision to retire was not easy.

“The club, the team and the staff have been home for me for a long time and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to live out a dream I never thought possible,” she said.

“I am grateful to the club for the opportunity to represent my home city with pride, my coaches for their belief, development and teachings and my incredible team-mates, who I absolutely adore and wouldn’t be here without.

“Thank you so much to my wonderful family and friends who have been so supportive throughout my career.”

Rigby described the financial insecurities of being a female footballer as one of the reasons behind her retirement, with a need to focus on building towards her future.

“There are a multitude of variables that have led to this decision, however the driving variable is the financial insecurity that comes with being a female footballer and the need for me to focus on building a sustainable and stable future for myself,” she said.

“I am very excited to be stepping into a role where I can continue to advocate for Women and Girls in football and promise that I will continue to influence change and push for a more equal future.

“I still have so much love for the game, the club, our staff and my girls and can’t wait to be their biggest cheerleader.”

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Glory coach Alex Epakis was full of praise for Rigby and her contributions on and off the field, describing the way she has led the team as a reflection of her character.

“She is built on the values and traits of competitiveness, integrity, compassion, loyalty and family and these attributes have shone through the team over the course of her career,” he said.

“She has always led from the front and found a way to bring the best out of different groups of people over the years, particularly during the uncertainty caused in recent seasons by COVID-19 with relocation, hubs and the like.

“Her character has been threaded throughout the DNA of the team and her legacy will no doubt remain within our team. Moreover, her connection to the community and ability to inspire teammates, staff and fans, both young and old, cannot be underestimated.

“Tash is a force within the community and I believe that her connection with our team and club will continue to grow as she moves into her next chapter.”

Perth Glory CEO Anthony Radich said that Rigby has not only been an incredible ambassador for Perth Glory and football, but for women’s sport in general.

“With her commitment and passion on the field and dedication to helping the community off it, she has been an inspiring role model throughout her eight seasons in purple and her contribution to the club cannot be overstated,” Radich said.

“Tash will be hugely missed, both as a player and as a person, but it is heartening to know that she will remain a key figure within women’s football in WA thanks to her exciting new position at Football West.

“On behalf of everyone associated with the club, I would like to sincerely thank her for her incredible service and wish her all the very best for the future.”

Rigby became just the third player to reach 100 appearances with the Perth Glory in the A-League Women’s competition in November 2023, ending with 117 in total.

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