Daisy Pearce (born 27 May 1988) is an Australian rules footballer playing for the Melbourne Football Club in the AFL Women's (AFLW). Widely regarded as the face of women's Australian rules football and one of its first ambassadors, Pearce served as Melbourne captain in the competition's first two seasons, having also captained the club in the women's exhibition games staged prior to the creation of the league. She also served as captain of the Darebin Falcons in the Victorian Women's Football League/VFL Women's from 2008 to 2016.
Pearce playing for Melbourne in 2017
|Full name||Daisy Pearce|
|Date of birth||27 May 1988|
|Place of birth||Bright, Victoria|
|Original team(s)||Darebin Falcons (VFLW)|
|Draft||2016 marquee signing|
Round 1, 2017, Melbourne|
vs. Brisbane, at Casey Fields
|Height||170 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Representative team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of the 2019 season.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2017.
Since she began her senior playing career in 2005, Pearce is a ten-time premiership player (seven as captain), six-time Helen Lambert Medallist (and inaugural winner of the VFL Women's best and fairest award in 2016, which was later renamed the Lambert–Pearce Medal in her honour) and five-time Darebin Falcons best and fairest winner at VWFL/VFLW level. She also represented Victoria three times at both senior and under-19 level, and was selected by Melbourne with the first selection in the inaugural national women's draft in 2013.
Pearce was drafted by Melbourne in 2016 as a marquee signing prior to the inaugural AFL Women's season, and was named its inaugural captain. In her two completed AFLW seasons to date, Pearce has twice been voted AFLW Players' best captain, and is a dual AFL Women's All-Australian (as captain in the 2017 team and vice-captain in the 2018 team) and dual Melbourne best and fairest winner. She also captained Victoria in the inaugural AFL Women's State of Origin match in 2017, where she was adjudged best afield. Pearce missed the 2019 season due to pregnancy.
Daisy Pearce was born in Bright, Victoria. She grew up in the country as a Carlton supporter and attended Bright Primary School and Eltham High School. Pearce began playing Auskick at the age of five before going on to play with boys in junior football. Her father Daryl was a coach at the Bright Football Club, which allowed her to begin training with the under-13 team from the age of eight. She played junior football alongside her older brother Harry and Collingwood premiership player Ben Reid. Pearce began working as a midwife at Box Hill Hospital upon moving to Melbourne.
State league and representative footballEdit
Pearce began playing with the Darebin Falcons in the Victorian Women's Football League (VWFL) in 2005 at the age of 16, and was captain from 2008 to 2016. Throughout her state league career, she has won ten premierships (seven as captain), six Helen Lambert Medals (along with the inaugural VFL Women's best and fairest award in 2016) and five club best and fairest awards. In June 2007, at the age of 19, Pearce was one of two VWFL representatives, alongside St Albans Spurs midfielder Shannon McFerran, who played in the annual E. J. Whitten Legends Game; Pearce played for Victoria while McFerran played for the All Stars, who won by 15 points.
Pearce captained the Victoria under-19 team at the 2007 AFL Women's National Championships. She was named in the Victoria under-19 All-Australian team and applauded for her efforts during the week-long carnival, winning the award for joint-player of the tournament. Pearce led the team to a premiership with a 47-point win against South Australia.
In May 2013, Pearce was selected by Melbourne with the first selection in the inaugural national women's draft; among the other Melbourne draftees were future Melbourne AFLW teammates Melissa Hickey and Bianca Jakobsson. Pearce was one of fifty women to make history in June when the club's women's team took on the Western Bulldogs' women's team at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the first women's exhibition game, which was played as a curtain raiser to the men's match between the same two clubs. Pearce captained the team in each of the games from 2013 to 2016, and was the inaugural winner of the club's best female player award at the end of the 2014 season, polling five out of a possible six votes.
AFL Women's careerEdit
In July 2016, Pearce was announced as one of Melbourne's two marquee players to play in the inaugural AFL Women's season, alongside Melissa Hickey. She was announced as the club's first AFLW captain in January 2017. Pearce made her AFL Women's debut in the club's inaugural match in round 1, 2017 against Brisbane at Casey Fields. She was listed among her team's best players, recording 19 disposals and a game-high ten tackles for the match. Pearce was again named in Melbourne's best in wins against Collingwood, the Western Bulldogs and Carlton over the next three rounds, and was highlighted as "Player of the Week" by the AFL Players Association for her round 4 performance. After four rounds, Pearce was the highest-ranked player according to Champion Data, leading the competition for disposals and handballs, and leading in average per game in contested possessions and goal assists. She played all seven games for the season as Melbourne finished third on the ladder, only missing out on the grand final by percentage. At the end of the season, Pearce was named captain of the 2017 AFL Women's All-Australian team, and won the inaugural Melbourne best and fairest award and AFLW Players' best captain award. Melbourne signed Pearce for the 2018 season during the trade period in May 2017. She then captained Victoria in the inaugural State of Origin match on 2 September, where she was adjudged best afield with 37 disposals in the 97-point win.
Pearce had another good season in 2018, with best-on-ground performances in round 1 against Greater Western Sydney and in round 5 against Brisbane, and was selected in afl.com.au's Team of the Week in rounds 1, 3 and 5. Her best game came in the round 5 match, in which she had 24 disposals and kicked two goals. Pearce once again played all seven games for the season, as Melbourne again finished third on the ladder and missed out on the grand final by percentage. At the end of the season, Pearce was named vice-captain of the 2018 AFL Women's All-Australian team, and again won the Melbourne best and fairest award and AFLW Players' best captain award. Having resumed in the VFL Women's for Darebin in 2017 immediately after the inaugural AFL Women's season, Pearce sat out the 2018 VFL Women's season, citing the need to give her body a break from football. Melbourne signed Pearce for the 2019 season during the trade and signing period in May 2018; however, on 31 August, Pearce announced her pregnancy with twins via Instagram, meaning that she would miss the 2019 season. Her place on Melbourne's list was filled by Casey Sherriff, who played for Melbourne's VFL Women's affiliate Casey Demons, and Elise O'Dea (who succeeded Pearce as Darebin captain in 2017) and Shelley Scott were eventually announced as co-captains in her place. Pearce continued to mentor and work with Melbourne players in an unofficial assistant coach role when they returned for pre-season training in November, and gave birth to twins in February 2019. By April, she was back to her playing weight, and later that month, she signed for the 2020 season.
Pearce has been a rotating panel member on the Seven Network program AFL Game Day since 2016 and provides special comments for Seven on television and 1116 SEN on radio, covering both AFL and AFLW matches. She was a boundary rider for Seven's coverage of the 2018 AFL Grand Final. Pearce has also been writing columns for The Age newspaper since 2017 and began appearing on the SEN morning shows Breakfast with Garry & Tim (with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson) and Whateley (with Gerard Whateley) in 2018. She previously provided special comments for Triple M in 2017.
After Tiffany Cherry hit out at the Nine Network in February 2018 for failing to stand up for gender equality after being replaced as host of the Nine program Women's Footy by Clint Stanaway, Pearce said that it was better to have both men and women involved in commentating and talking about the men's and women's competitions. "I enjoy seeing men working across and well-informed football commentators talking about [women's football]... why can’t we see men working across the AFL Women’s competition?" She said that if there was a belief that only women should call AFLW games and only men should call AFL games, "It’s almost as if we are taking a few steps back".
When reports emerged in August 2018 that the 2019 home-and-away season could be reduced from seven rounds to six, despite the AFL Women's competition expanding to ten teams and implementing a conference system and preliminary finals, Pearce was vocal in her opposition. "It doesn't sit well with me or a lot of the players... I thought when those two new teams came in [...] I was rubbing my hands together thinking, 'We are going to get a legitimate competition here, we will play everyone once and head into a finals series, you beauty'... in reality, this is a gimmicky tournament". The 2019 home-and-away season was eventually left at seven rounds.
Pearce is widely regarded as the face of women's Australian rules football and one of its first ambassadors. In February 2017, the Melbourne Football Club unveiled its new mascot for the women's team, named "Daisy" in her honour. On 7 March 2017, Pearce became the first woman to be elected as a director on the board of the AFL Players Association (AFLPA); at the same meeting, the AFLPA decided to include AFLW players as full members of the association. In September 2018, the VFL Women's best and fairest award, which Pearce had won in 2016 after having previously won six Helen Lambert Medals in the VWFL, was renamed the Lambert–Pearce Medal to honour both her and Helen Lambert.
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2019 season.
|Led the league for the home-and-away season only|
|Led the league for the home-and-away season and after finals|
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
Honours and achievementsEdit
- Olle, Sarah (27 February 2016). "Women's AFL: How life has changed for Daisy Pearce, the AFL's first female superstar". Fox Sports (Australia). Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- McGowan, Marc (7 July 2016). "Melbourne footballer Daisy Pearce in Darwin for AFL Talent Search screening". Northern Territory News. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- Sewell, Eliza (2 September 2016). "Daisy Pearce is a once in a generation footballer but few would have seen her play". news.com.au. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "Pearce claims top gong". Inside Sport. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- Sewell, Eliza (29 September 2016). "Daisy Pearce says she knows she needs to take her game to a new level for AFLW season". Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- Beaton, Robert (26 March 2018). "Pearce truly the AFLW's best leader". AFL Players Association. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- Black, Sarah (10 August 2018). "COMMENT: AFL has to splash cash on AFLW". afl.com.au. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "#6 Daisy Pearce - Victorian Women's Football League - FOX SPORTS PULSE". FOX SPORTS PULSE. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
- Matthews, Bruce (3 September 2017). "AFLW State of Origin medal comes up Daisy's". afl.com.au. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "AFL Community: Daisy Pearce". www.aflcommunityclub.com.au. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
- "Daisy Pearce inspiring future Women AFL stars". Big Time Sports. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- Sewell, Eliza (13 June 2007). "Not too young to be a legend". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
- McClure, Geoff (8 June 2007). "Men v women: ratings winner". The Age. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Sewell, Eliza (25 July 2007). "Daisy is starting to bloom". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
- "AFL National Women's Championships – Day Four". Australian Football League. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Pellizzeri, Teo (15 May 2013). "Pearce tops women's draft". The Age. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Pearce wins best female player award". melbournefc.com.au. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- "Women's AFL: Who are the marquee players?". ABC. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- Wood, Lauren (14 January 2017). "Pearce named the Demons' inaugural captain". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- Matthews, Bruce (5 February 2017). "Lions take the points in AFLW wild weather clash". AFL Media. Bigpond. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- "AFLW Player Of The Week: Round 4". AFL Players Association. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- @championdata (26 February 2017). "AFLW Player Stat Leaders after Round 4 matches.(Ties ordered by games played, player name)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Navaratnam, Dinny (28 March 2017). "Lions, Crows dominate AFLW All Australian team". afl.com.au. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- Beaton, Robert (27 March 2017). ""No one like" the AFLW's Best Captain". AFL Players Association. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- "AFLW: All the clubs' full lists after trade period". afl.com.au. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Black, Sarah (2 September 2017). "AFLW: Daisy stands tall as Big V dominates". afl.com.au. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Matthews, Bruce (3 February 2018). "Match report: Demons win after Giant fright". afl.com.au. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Matthews, Bruce (2 March 2018). "AFLW match report: Dees get back on track". afl.com.au. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Black, Sarah; Buxton, Aaron (6 February 2018). "AFLW Team of the Week: Three debutants in". afl.com.au. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Buxton, Aaron (19 February 2018). "AFLW Team of the Week: Superstar Crow returns". afl.com.au. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- Black, Sarah; Saultry, Meg (6 March 2018). "AFLW: Dees own midfield in team of the week". afl.com.au. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Navaratnam, Dinny (27 March 2018). "W Awards: Nine named dual All Australians". afl.com.au. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
- Black, Sarah (3 May 2018). "AFLW: Moves aplenty as state leagues take shape". afl.com.au. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- Black, Sarah (10 June 2018). "AFLW: Delisted Docker goes coast to coast". afl.com.au. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- "AFLW: Melbourne star pregnant with twins". afl.com.au. 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Black, Sarah (12 September 2018). "AFLW: Dees receive compensation for Pearce". afl.com.au. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
- Matthews, Bruce (19 December 2018). "AFLW: Dees announce co-captains to replace Daisy". afl.com.au. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
- Matthews, Bruce (16 November 2018). "On field or off, superstar Daisy is relishing her twin roles". afl.com.au. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- Matthews, Bruce (14 December 2018). "AFLW: 'Coach' Daisy gives new Dee a strength lesson". afl.com.au. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
- "Daisy Pearce on Instagram: "With exploding hearts, Ben and I would like to introduce Sylvie & Roy O'Neill"". Instagram. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Thompson, Matt (18 February 2019). "Daisy's double: AFLW superstar's twins arrive early". afl.com.au. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Black, Sarah (8 April 2019). "Big names, big moves: 2019 AFLW Trade Period preview". womens.afl. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
- Black, Sarah (26 April 2019). "Trade and Signing Period wrap: Daisy re-signs with Dees". womens.afl. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Thompson, Matt (24 September 2018). "Melbourne to turn on soggy Saturday for Grand Final". afl.com.au. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "The Age unveils footy columnists for 2017". Brisbane Times. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "Daisy Pearce joins 1116 SEN and Crocmedia". SEN. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "Daisy Pearce Joine Triple M's AFL Footy Call". B&T. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Daisy Pearce weighs in on gender equality storm over Channel Nine program Women's Footy". news.com.au. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Beveridge, Riley (3 August 2018). "Gill rejects 'gimmicky' AFLW fixture call". afl.com.au. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- Black, Sarah (26 October 2018). "AFLW fixture: Cats kick off new season". afl.com.au. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "Daisy the new female mascot - melbournefc.com.au". melbournefc.com.au. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- "AFLW star joins AFLPA Board". AFL Players Association. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "Lambert Pearce Medal revealed". vfl.com.au. 6 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Daisy Pearce". Australian Football. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Flanagan, Martin (8 August 2007). "As a footballer, Daisy's in a league of her own". The Age. Retrieved 13 August 2011.