Retirement decision on ice as Daisy chases elusive premiership

DON'T expect Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce to decide on her future any time soon.

The 34-year-old has been on single-season contracts for the last few years, and has a development coaching role with Geelong's men's program lined up for when she chooses to retire.

Sunday's premiership decider between Brisbane and Melbourne looms as a potential end point, but Pearce's decision won't hinge on a win or loss.

Daisy Pearce poses with the premiership cup during AFLW captain's day on August 17, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"I'm a pretty intuitive, kind of gut-feel sort of person. I'll just need time to let it all sink in and see where I'm at," Pearce said.

"I'll sit down and have a chat with the list manager and coach (Todd Patterson and Mick Stinear respectively) and all of that kind of thing. It's just not something that I'm rushing to make a call on.

"I don't feel the need to, and I'm just looking forward to going out and competing on the weekend."

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Melbourne lost last season's Grand Final – played in April – to Adelaide, with Sunday perhaps shaping as a chance at redemption.

"If anything, it makes you realise that losing them isn't the end of the world. We lost one not even 12 months ago, and the sun came up, and we all turned up at pre-season training with the attitude of wanting to get better, and that's landed us here," Pearce said.

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"It's one of those things, if you want to win you, you have to be prepared to feel the hurt and disappointment of losing one. We've done that now. Whilst it's not the result you want, it's not the end of the world, and it's just a new year.

Daisy Pearce after Melbourne won its S7 preliminary final against North Melbourne at Ikon Park. Picture: AFL Photos

"It's not even a new year, actually, but it's a new team and a new opportunity, it's hard to manufacture anything out of losing the last one, we have to just take the opportunity we have.

"(There's) the disappointment of losing the last one, and you want to go one step further, but you have to get back there first. There's so much work that goes into that, so many variables, but I'm just proud of our group, that we've been able to put in the work and have another crack."

Meanwhile Melbourne ruck Lauren Pearce has noted that the playing group feels it belongs on the biggest stage of the season, having steeled itself mentally.

Lauren Pearce poses with the premiership cup at Marvel Stadium on November 21, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"The start of the year it was a completely different time, getting through COVID and jumping straight into a season," Lauren Pearce said.

"Whereas I feel like this season we feel really prepared as a team. Last season, it was not a gift to be in there, but it was the first time we'd made a Grand Final whereas this time we feel like we really belong, and we've worked hard for it. So the vibe around the club is, we deserve to be there and we'll give it everything we've got to be holding (the Premiership cup) at the end, hopefully."

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For the Demons it was a round four loss to fellow Grand Finalist Brisbane that spurred on an impressive second half of the season, whereby they went undefeated and conceded and average of just 14.4 points over eight games.

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"We weren't happy with our game (against Brisbane) and it taught us a lot of lessons and we've been able to bring that into the second half of the season and then obviously carried into finals as well.

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"Brisbane have been the benchmark for the season and everything that we've based our game around this season has been growth from the game that we lost to them. Their energy, the workrate, they're just hungry for the ball and hungry for that win."