'We don't fear them': Pearce on powerhouse Crows, retirement rumours

DESPITE Adelaide's formidable Grand Final record, Melbourne skipper Daisy Pearce respects but doesn't fear the Crows.

The Crows have now qualified for four of the five AFLW Grand Finals, winning flags in 2017 and 2019, and losing to Brisbane in 2021.

Saturday will mark Melbourne's maiden AFLW Grand Final, having come agonisingly close in previous years.

Melbourne's Daisy Pearce celebrates winning the preliminary final against Brisbane on April 2, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"The Adelaide footy club are always a challenge. Powerhouse of the competition, playing them at home and where they got the better of us last year, it's always a big task," Pearce said.

"But you wouldn't expect anything less, making it to a Grand Final. We respect them, and they had the better of us earlier this year, they taught us some valuable lessons, but I feel like we've evolved since then.

"We respect them, and it's going to take our absolute best, but we don't fear them. We're looking forward to playing against them and having another crack."

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The match has been billed as a possible farewell to both Pearce and former Adelaide skipper Erin Phillips, who has been touted as Port Adelaide's number one target, given her father's history at the club.

But Pearce herself – who will turn 34 in May – wasn't buying into speculation about her playing future, saying she has not yet made up her mind about retirement.

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"I haven't. It's so hard to look any further than beyond what's in front of us. I found that on the weekend, it was almost a sense of relief that I knew what I was doing this week, because it had been so hard to look any further than that," Pearce said.

"You get such tunnel vision when you get at this point in the season, I think any athlete or footballer would speak to that. For me, it's awesome to think there are other opportunities in the game for me when my playing career finishes, but here and now, my biggest focus is this team, the opportunity we have.

"It's the highlight of my week still is driving out to Casey on a Thursday to go to training, let alone suit up and play on the weekend. If that's still the case at the end of the season, I'll have some big decisions to make, and we'll see what happens. Just savouring the moment that we have right now, this week, then I'll sit down with (partner) Ben and the family and make a decision beyond that once the dust settles on this season."

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