Emma Mackie has announced her retirement from the AFLW competition after a tumultuous few weeks for the league.

The 35-year-old Saint fulfilled her lifelong dream to represent the red, white and black, playing two games for the year, including the club’s landmark debut at RSEA Park.

“I’m so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to play this amazing game and pioneer the way for future generations,” Mackie said.

I’ve been able to realise a childhood dream of not only playing AFLW but playing for a club I grew up barracking for.

- Emma Mackie

“Words cannot describe how much this means to me and my family.  I’m going to miss running out with my teammates, but I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and cheering on the Saints from the sidelines.”

Much of Mackie’s childhood was spent on the road, with her brother, parents and grandparents making the four-hour trek with her from Albury to Moorabbin to see St Kilda play.

Idolising Nathan Burke in her youth, Mackie went on to inherit his famous No. 3 during the 2020 AFLW Season, mirroring the legendary Saint’s courage at the contest.

The former road cyclist earned a great deal of success on two wheels, representing Australia in the World Championships, before winning Box Hill’s VFLW best-and-fairest (2017) and captaining Hawthorn VFLW in its inaugural year (2018).