Emma Checker calls time on her professional football career

Melbourne Victory can announce that former Matilda and A-League Women’s stalwart, Emma Checker will retire from professional football at the end of the 2023/24 Liberty A-League season.

The 28-year-old has made 148 appearances at A-League Women’s level, representing Adelaide United, Canberra United, Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory, also playing domestically in Korea, France, Iceland and Sweden.

Checker has also represented the Matildas eight times, making her debut as a 16-year-old in 2012 against Hong Kong.

Reflecting on her career in football, Checker said it was the right moment to call time on her professional football endeavours.

“It felt like it was the right time for me to step away from the game and begin a new journey,” Checker said.

“I probably feel fitter than I have in a long time, physically, mentally and emotionally in every way and there’s always that doubt that comes but deep down, it’s the right decision for me and my family.

“I’ve had an incredible opportunity come up for me in my life that would mean I couldn’t give my all to football and I’ve had to make this decision. I feel like I owe it to those in my life to change my priorities.

“It’s hard to put names to the list of people I’d like to thank but my family, my partner and my coaches have been the most important to me throughout my career.

“They have made the most sacrifices for me across the journey and I am thankful to them for coming along with me in my football journey.

Melbourne Victory Director of Football, John Didulica also praised Cheker’s decorated career.

“Emma is such a wonderful person and it is bittersweet for her to retire when she’s playing such good football and in such a great frame of mind,” Didulica said.

“She should be proud of what she has contributed to Melbourne Victory, the A-League and to Australian football as a whole. She has led a generation of players who have sacrificed so much to allow women’s football to shine, so there is a sad irony to her stepping away from the game at this moment of time.

“As a Club, we’re very proud that we can give her the home send-off that she deserves, in none other than a Melbourne Derby on Sunday 17 March at Home of the Matildas, and hopefully with some silverware at the end of the season.

“We look forward to our fans giving her the chance to move onto the next phase of her life with a massive smile on her face and all their wonderful support at the derby and for the balance of the season.”