Inaugural GIANTS Louise Stepheson and Erin McKinnon have informed the GIANTS that they will look to take up offers from Victorian clubs for the next AFL Women’s season.

An inaugural Victorian priority pick, Stephenson relocated from Victoria in 2016 and has played 33 games with the GIANTS over the past six seasons.

The 176cm utility, who played a new role in the forward-line this season, has advised the club that she will be return to her home town to join expansion side, Hawthorn.

Ruck Erin McKinnon will also depart the club after 41 games over six seasons, after requesting a trade to St Kilda.

McKinnon burst onto the AFLW scene in the GIANTS’ inaugural season, earning a NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination in 2017 and was named the All Australian ruck in 2018. 

GIANTS Head of Women’s Football, Briana Harvey, thanked both Stephenson and McKinnon for their service to the club.

“Both players have given so much over the past six years and have been instrumental in helping shape the club to where it is today,” Harvey said.

“We understand Lou’s desire to seek more game time with another side while Erin has been offered an opportunity with the Saints that we’re just not in a position to match.

“We wish both of them all the best for the next stage in their playing careers.”

After two seasons and six games with the GIANTS, defender Libby Graham has also requested a trade to Richmond.

Harvey also wished Graham well and said the GIANTS were looking forward to some exciting new talent to join the club across the upcoming period.

“We’re working really hard behind the scenes with our new Head Coach Cam Bernasconi on what the future of our club looks like for this season and beyond. 

“We knew we’d be farewelling some familiar faces but equally are excited by the opportunities for our younger and emerging players as we enter our seventh season.”

The dates for the Trade and Signing period are yet to be set by the AFL. The next AFLW season is expected to begin in August this year.