ADELAIDE premiership ruck Jess Foley is the latest AFLW player to announce her retirement, making the decision to allow a return to her full-time career in medicine.
Foley's decision follows that of three veteran midfielders, with Western Bulldog premiership player Nicole Callinan, St Kilda's Emma Mackie and Richmond's Lauren Tesoriero having already hung up the boots.
Two others recently joined the trio, with Collingwood's Emma Grant and Richmond's Laura Bailey also calling time on their careers.
Multitalented Callinan and Mackie have also represented Australia in indoor cricket and road cycling respectively.
The 37-year-old Callinan played 24 of 28 games for the Dogs across four seasons after she was selected with pick No.85 in the inaugural NAB AFLW Draft in 2016.
She'd had a long footy career before AFLW, playing in four flags for Darebin Falcons in the former VWFL.
"I was happy with one season, and I ended up with four and a premiership (2018). I’ll take that," Callinan said.
"I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s come to the time where you know in your head to decide this year, I’ve got to get onto my next phase in life."
Mackie also started her AFLW journey with the Western Bulldogs, playing seven games across two seasons in the red, white and blue before crossing to her beloved St Kilda for the club's first season.
Taken with pick 27 in the 2017 NAB AFLW Draft, the 35-year-old retires with nine games to her name.
"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.
"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."
Tesoriero, 33, played three seasons over four years, finishing with 15 games after two years at Collingwood (2017 and 2018) and one at Richmond (2020).
The former state netballer is also the Tigers' AFLW recruiter, and notably played without an ACL this year after opting not to have a reconstruction.
Versatile Magpie Emma Grant joined the veterans in retirement on Wednesday.
Grant, 30, was a foundation player for the Pies, playing 20 games across four years but none in 2020 after a head injury during a January practice match.
Richmond utility Laura Bailey joined teammate Tesoriero in retirement on Thursday.
The 27-year-old flanker reignited her AFLW career this year, playing five of a possible six games to add to the eight games she recorded at the Western Bulldogs in 2017 and 2018.
"She is a popular member of our squad and has been a fine role model for the playing group," Richmond head of women's footy Kate Sheahan said.
"We wish her all the best for the next chapter, as she focuses on her career as a policewoman."
Foley, who will turn 37 in a few weeks' time, is a former WNBL basketballer who retires after 13 games across two seasons, including the 2019 flag.
The doctor said the COVID-19 pandemic has actually helped her in her decision to retire.
"It has helped me reflect on what is really important and at this stage of my life, I want to concentrate on medicine," Foley said.
"AFLW demands have meant I could only pursue it in a part-time capacity in recent times, plus I want to also move back to country Victoria to be closer to family."
Jess Foley (Adelaide)
Emma Grant (Collingwood)
Melissa Hickey (Geelong)
Laura Bailey (Richmond)
Lauren Tesoriero (Richmond)
Emma Mackie (St Kilda)
Nicole Callinan (Western Bulldogs)