The GIANTS’ first-ever AFLW captain Amanda Farrugia has been inducted into the inaugural New South Wales Australian Football Hall of Fame.

A member of the GIANTS from 2017 until her retirement from AFLW in 2019, Farrugia left an indelible mark on women’s football in Western Sydney across nearly a decade-long career.

A physical education teacher from Paramatta, Farrugia only took up Australian Rules football in her twenties as a way to keep fit but ultimately landed into the history books as the GIANTS’ inaugural AFLW captain for the first-ever AFLW season.

Captaining the club for three straight years without missing a game, Farrugia’s leadership and contribution to the GIANTS was celebrated at the conclusion of the 2019 season when she announced her retirement from the game.

The 39-year-old is one of 100 inductees into the inaugural NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame announced on Thursday, which features 76 players and coaches, 11 administrators, nine umpires, and four media personalities.

Named the 2018 GIANTS Woman of the Year, Farrugia’s impact reached far beyond her performance on the field, with the passionate P.E teacher’s work in the Western Sydney community highlighted by the Amanda Farrugia Cup program.

Launched in 2020, the program is aimed at encouraging young, often disadvantaged secondary students from Western Sydney to be active through education on the game and through football matches played in a fun and welcoming environment against other kids from across the community.

GIANTS CEO David Matthews said Farrugia’s recognition with inclusion in the Hall of Fame was extremely well deserved.

“Amanda is one of the real pioneers of women’s football in New South Wales and her induction into the inaugural New South Wales Australian Football Hall of Fame is certainly warranted,” Mr Matthews said.

“At the GIANTS we strive to not only perform on the field, but to enrich the lives of our community, these are values that Amanda exemplifies in spades and we are thrilled to see her get the recognition she deserves for not only her talent on the field, but the amazing work she does in the Western Sydney community.

“Being the inaugural captain of a footy club is a big burden to be placed on someone, but Amanda exceeded all expectations and helped lay the foundations for what our women’s program is about.”

Beginning her football journey in 2011 with Macquarie University in the lower divisions of the Sydney Women’s AFL (SWAFL) competition, Farrugia overcame a knee reconstruction in 2012 to win the league’s division two best and fairest award, a division two premiership, and was named best on ground in the grand final. Farrugia was also awarded 'Best Athlete' at the Macquarie University Sporting Awards that year.

In 2015 Farrugia was named captain of Macquarie University’s division one side where she went on to win the Mostyn Medal as the SWAFL’s best and fairest player, an award she would also finish runner-up in the following year before claiming the medal for a second time in 2017.

Following her stellar local football career, Farrugia was drafted by the GIANTS with pick 64 in the 2016 AFLW Draft before being named the cub’s inaugural women’s captain just months later - a position she would excel in for three years before stepping away from the game.

The primary role of the Hall of Fame is to recognise and enshrine players, coaches, umpires, administrators, volunteers and media representatives who have made a most significant contribution to the game of Australian Football in NSW since its inception in 1880.

The AFL will host a gala dinner celebrating Farrugia and the rest of the inaugural NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame on Friday, May 3 at the SCG.