AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan today said Daisy Pearce would be remembered as one of the pre-eminent figures in the establishment of the AFLW competition, and an all-time great of women’s football.
Pearce announced her retirement from playing today, having led Melbourne to the AFLW premiership last November with victory against the Brisbane Lions at Springfield in her final game.
A triple All Australian and three-time Demons’ Best and Fairest, McLachlan said Pearce’s influence on the growth of AFLW extended far beyond her outstanding exploits as a player and captain.
“Daisy has a peerless on-field record, as a 10-time premiership player in the VFLW, and then as a founding captain in the AFLW leading Melbourne for every year of her career, barring the one-year absence for the birth of her twins Sylvie and Roy.
“Incredibly skilful and with a brilliant ability to read the game, she was one of the standout players from day one but, beyond her football skills, she has also carried an enormous load in promoting the game and the competition from before its inception.
“Football owes Daisy an enormous debt for her willingness to always step up for women’s football, and she has been one of the key faces in building the AFLW competition as THE inspiration for thousands of young girls to pursue their dream of playing football.
“When Daisy was growing up in country Victoria, there was no elite competition to aim for beyond her teen years, but she was one of many pioneers who constantly lobbied, pushed and drove for the proper respect and support to be given to the women’s game, and the 18-team competition that now exists.
“Away from the field, she has expanded the opportunities now available to women with her outstanding critical analysis of the game in the media, and will no doubt be in demand as well as a coach and mentor for the next generation of young stars, both male and female.
“On behalf of the AFL, we congratulate Daisy for her contribution and success as a player and look forward to her enjoying many more years ahead as a key figure in our game.”