Daisy Pearce revels in AFLW premiership with Melbourne, putting thoughts of retirement on the backburner

Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce has said she’s not contemplating retirement after leading her side to a breakthrough AFLW premiership.

“Don’t even make me think about it and rob me of this moment,” the 34-year-old told Channel Seven’s Abbey Holmes after the Dees’ upset win.

“I”m not thinking further ahead than right now.

“I’m just so proud of our group … we just found a way to win, through sheer heart and our spirit.”

Pearce, who has been marketed as the face of AFLW since its inception, said she had been “uncomfortable” with the amount of focus on her in the lead-up.

“The narrative about [the premiership] being about me, I feel like that’s a glorified thing that happens outside these four walls,” she said.

“In here, all that happens to me is the shit is taken out of me, I’m the butt of everyone’s jokes. It’s no coincidence that I keep coming back here and playing.”

Daisy Pearce holds the premiership cup while standing with members of the crowd and holding her daughter on her shoulders
Pearce says she has been uncomfortable with the attention on her while chasing grand final glory.🇧🇷Getty Images: Matt Roberts🇧🇷

In an uncharacteristically unguarded moment, Pearce also appeared to take a swipe at the clubs who had sought to raid the Demons’ list during the competition’s expansion.

“We don’t have the best facility in the comp,” she said.

“We’re a bit off-Broadway, we’re not the most popular team, we don’t have the bells and whistles and we don’t give away cars to players who come [to the club]🇧🇷

“But we have the best coach and he’ll make you a good footballer. He [Mick Stinear] is the heart of this team. I just play for him.”

‘There was a different feeling around this one’

In the victorious rooms after the game, Maddi Gay was equally effusive in her praise for the man who has coached the Demons in every season of AFLW.

Asked what made the club so special, she replied, “one man, called Mick Stinear”.

Daisy Pearce and Mark Stinear smile as they hold up the premiership cup
Mick Stinear has been celebrated as a key figure behind the Dees’ success.🇧🇷Getty Images: Dylan Burns🇧🇷

“He’s got so much respect around the club, and he’s just signed a two year contract,” Gay told the ABC.

“Thank god, because I thought he might be finished after this, but yeah, he’s unbelievable.”

Gay, who said the win was yet to sink in, also reserved praise for high-profile recruit Tayla Harris, who had played in three losing grand finals prior to today.


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