Outgoing Adelaide United Women Captain, Emma Checker, explains it was an extremely tough decision to make in leaving her hometown Club.
Checker had served as Captain for the last two seasons following her return to the Reds in 2017, after initially beginning her Westfield W-League career with Adelaide in 2011.
However, the 23-year-old, who lives in Melbourne, said her main reason for not returning was due to work-related commitments.
“It was a very difficult decision and it definitely wasn’t an over night one,” she revealed.
“It was something I went back and forth with and sat on for a little while, and obviously decisions like that come with a number of pros and cons that work both ways.
“I think for me it was about looking at the big picture involving every part of my life in the decision that I made.
“And I guess that was one big part of it, making sure the decision I came to was something that was supportive of everything I was trying to achieve in football and in life.
“I feel like I’m in a position now to challenge myself in football and challenge myself in life and that’s something that’s really important to me moving forward.”
The centre-back sits fourth on the Reds’ all-time appearances list with 41 games and admitted she has a number of unforgettable moments during her time here.
“It’s hard to pinpoint one moment because I was fortunate enough to have a lot of special times and a lot of really proud moments being a part of the Club,” said Checker, who has three Matildas caps.
“It was such an amazing Club to be involved with, it’s my home Club. The staff were amazing and the girls were amazing.
“It was something I’m really proud of and wearing my home kit is something I will always hold close to me.
“And being able to lead such a great group of girls as captain was something as well that was a big life lesson for me and again a really proud moment.”
However, helping lead Adelaide to their best ever finish last season under the tutelage of Head Coach, Ivan Karlović, is something she is immensely proud of.
The Reds missed out on a finals berth by one point during the 2018/19 campaign – Adelaide’s most successful season to date.
“I think the progress we made within the two years that I was fortunate enough to spend there was huge,” she said.
“We went from bottom of the table to missing out on third place by one point.
“I think that’s a pretty phenomenal improvement to make over one season and that for me was a big highlight and I really do hope that the girls can build on top of what we’ve already created.”
And the defender was more than confident that the team would continue moving in the right direction with Karlović at the helm.
Checker added that changing the mentality and building a strong team culture within the playing group was the legacy she hopes to leave behind.
“For me it was about progressing the culture in the group and really setting a bar,” she continued.
“For me the thing that I took a lot of pride in was leading through actions and setting a really high standard in what the expectations were.
“And that was something that was changed in the group and I think that was a big part of why we had a lot more success in the year (2018/19) because our progress with culture as a team was massive.
“And I really hope that I’ve been able to leave something behind there and I hope that that team culture can continue.
“Because I think that’s something really important for a club and team like Adelaide. It’s hard being a smaller city in a smaller population pool to pull from.
“But I think when you’ve got a big heart and a group of girls that want to fight we proved that upsets are possible and big seasons are possible.”