The GIANTS’ all-time leading goal kicker and games record holder, Cora Staunton, has called time on her AFLW career.

The Gaelic Football legend was the first international player to join an AFLW list back in 2017 and has since paved the way for many Irish and international players to follow in her footsteps.

The Irish international played 50 games across six seasons in the competition and was the first GIANT to play 50 games for the club - in what will now be known as her final game – in the GIANTS’ round 10 match against the Gold Coast Suns.

Since transitioning to the oval shaped ball, Staunton has been a key target for the GIANTS in their forward line and a focal point for opposition defenders.

She finishes her six seasons as a four-time leading goal kicker for the club with a total of 55 goals – ranked equal 2nd of all time – despite playing a season less than those around her.

Her age has long been a talking point – the oldest female to play the game – but the 41-year-old never shied away from performing for her side.

In amongst a wealth of sporting achievements, Staunton also won the club’s Coaches Award in 2020 and the Jacinda Barclay Fearless Award in 2022.

She was also named a life member of the GIANTS at the most recent Gabrielle Trainor Medal.

Like every season, Staunton returned home post-season seven to deliberate the future of her career and ultimately decided her time in the AFLW was up.

The humble sporting champion that she is, Staunton leaves the game with little fuss.

GIANTS Head of Women’s Football Briana Harvey praised Staunton for her AFLW career.

“I congratulate Cora on not only everything she has achieved in our game of Aussie Rules, but throughout her entire sporting career,” Harvey said.

“While not a foundation player, she has been with us through our highest highs and lowest lows and helped to build and shape the foundations and standards within our club.

“Cora will not only leave a legacy as a successful cross-code player and leading goal scorer, but I would imagine that one of her proudest legacies she leaves us with is the establishment of the weekly Jacinda Barclay Fearless Award.

“Cora has formed life-long friendships with players and staff across her time at the club and her presence will be missed.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to thank Cora for her contribution over the past six seasons and wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life.”

Staunton leaves as one of the best to have ever played in the AFLW competition and her sporting achievements across two countries are astounding. In the Gaelic game Staunton won four All-Irelands and three Ladies' National Football League titles with Mayo. She was an All Star on eleven occasions and in addition to playing Gaelic football, Staunton has also played three other football codes in Ireland at a senior level. 

Staunton joins fellow Irishwoman Brid Stack as well as teammate Tanya Hetherington to announce their retirements following the completion of season seven.