Adelaide veteran David Mackay says he will miss playing in front of the league’s most passionate fans and the friendships footy has helped forge during his time at the Club.
Mackay announced his retirement to teammates on Thursday morning, with this weekend to be the 248th and final game of his AFL career.
The 33-year-old said he loved being part of the Adelaide Football Club for the past 15 years but it was the right time to hang up the boots.
“I’d like to thank the members and supporters of the Adelaide Footy Club,” Mackay said.
“It’s been an absolute honour to be able to run out in front of you and represent this Club.
“You’re so passionate and I will certainly miss running out to a full house at Adelaide Oval, but will cherish all the times I was able to do that.
“It was a really hard decision (but) ultimately I knew it was the right time for me and for my family.
“It’s the little things that you take for granted. What happens in the locker room and the relationships, connection you build up over so long.
“That’s the thing (I’m) going to miss the most moving forward.”
The highly-respected and versatile Mackay has played the ninth most games in Club history after he was drafted by the Crows from Victoria in 2006.
Throughout his career Mackay evolved from a hard-running midfielder and wingman to reliable and creative defender.
He said he could not pinpoint a favourite memory from his time at West Lakes but particularly enjoyed lining up in Showdowns against the cross-town rivals and finals.
“I’ve had some amazing memories and some challenges along the way as well but overall it’s been a brilliant journey for me,” Mackay said.
“I haven’t got any regrets, I’ve given everything I have for 15 years.”
Mackay said the Club was heading in the right direction and he was looking forward to watching the youngsters continue to get better.
“The foundation for something really special is being laid,” Mackay said.
“The amount of growth that I’ve seen in the last couple of years has been enormous, and (it won’t be) too long until we see the fruit of that growth.
“It’s really exciting to see what that will evolve to but I’m really confident that there’s something really special building here.”