Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
ABC News
ABC News

AFLW trailblazer Daisy Pearce retires after 2022 premiership with Melbourne Demons

Aussie rules pioneer Daisy Pearce has announced her retirement after six seasons in the AFLW.

The 34-year-old said as she resumed training for the next season, she felt completely content in what she had achieved in the sport in a way she had never experienced before.  

"That chapter of my life is a full one," she said, after winning the Demons' maiden AFLW premiership last season.

"I'm closing a chapter on my playing career with a very full heart.

"I will miss the whole program and players and staff … this has probably been the hardest thing in making this decision.

"It has been an emotional time." 

From the inaugural AFLW season, Pearce has been one of the league's best and most high-profile stars, helping to get the competition off the ground after 12 years and more than 200 games playing club football with the Darebin Falcons.

Her star power and on-field brilliance helped grow the league and make women's and girls' football more popular.

"Little things like when you walk into Coles on the weekend and you see a little girl fully kitted out wearing footy boots inside the supermarket, mud on her knees and that's just normal, she's just been playing under-10s with all the other girls and there were three ovals of it," she said.

"All those little moments where you really see how far it's come, it's just been awesome."

Despite her role as a trailblazer in the game, Pearce said she was "mindful not to take any credit for that".

"I'm just so thankful for all the pioneers that I've been able to get in behind and grateful that this has happened in my lifetime," she said.

"I remember a period of time thinking that one day there will be an AFLW competition, but when I first thought that I didn't think I'd get the opportunity to play in it at all. I thought it might be after my playing days were done."

She missed the 2019 season after giving birth to twins Sylvie and Roy in February of that year, and said she had "a real excitement and optimism about what's next for me and my family".

Despite feeling content with her football career and feeling the time was right to walk away, a teary-eyed Pearce said she was going to miss the game dearly.

"I'm a 34-year-old, soon to be 35-year-old, mother of two, and I can go there [on the field] and carry on like an 18-year-old. That outlet is something I'm really going to miss," she said.

"And just the friendships; the ups and downs shared. I've been through break-ups, I've been through pregnancies, I've been through parenting, I've been through losing grand finals … and then you get to go out, pull on a jumper and give your all for a couple of hours on the weekend.

"It's a special thing to be a part of. There's no-one like your footy friends and I'm so fortunate that I'm going to be able to stay in footy and stay connected to the game."

Football fans will still be seeing plenty of Pearce, as she has established herself as a leading television commentator.

She is also set to take up a coaching role with Geelong as part of the AFL's women's coach acceleration program.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.