Katie Brennan spent most of her inaugural AFL Women’s campaign as a leadership voice on the sidelines for the Western Bulldogs.

The 25-year-old was restricted to just two matches after an ankle injury wiped out nearly all of her AFLW campaign.

In spite of the obvious disappointment of missing most of the season, Brennan was able to have a positive influence on the Bulldogs in an off-field capacity and has been rewarded with a second year as captain.

After Bulldogs coach Paul Groves announced the leadership group to the rest of the team last week, including the appointment of Ellie Blackburn as vice-captain and Nicole Callinan and Hannah Scott as the other members of the four-player group, Brennan told her teammates that she was “very humbled” to be able to lead the team again.

“Thank you for trusting me for a second year,” she said.

Brennan is desperate to get back out on to the field and lead by example.

The Darebin Falcons recruit has the potential to be one of the premier key forwards in the competition, but needs a clear run from a health standpoint.

Ups and downs are part and parcel of the competition, as Brennan knows all too well. While she experienced more downs because of her injury, it was still one hell of a ride for her and the team.

“There’s downs, there’s challenges, there’s hardships, there’s triumphs – you feel so many emotions within the small eight-week block and it’s an incredible ride,” she said.

“This year I’m going to do everything in my power to stay out there with you and give it my all, lead by example and do everything that I think a leader should be.”

The AFL Women’s season will open on Friday night. The Bulldogs will play their season opener against the Fremantle Dockers at the Victoria University Whitten Oval this Sunday from 4.35pm.