We’ve had our appetites whetted by a host of practice games and the Community Series, and now the AFL’s season proper is just days…
Daisy Pearce has been named to replace Michael Prior as the West Coast Eagles’ AFLW coach – a move heralded as a “momentous milestone” by the club.
Pearce will leave her role as development and then assistant coach with Geelong in the AFL.
In a club statement onn their website, the Eagles described it as “one of the biggest recruiting coups of their history” and a “momentous milestone” for the club.
“The decision to leave Geelong was a difficult one and I want to thank the club for everything they have done for me over the last twelve months,” Pearce said.
“In a short time I learnt an enormous amount and have been surrounded by colleagues who I admire and feel so fortunate to have worked with.
“I’m grateful for the confidence [the Eagles] have shown in appointing me for this incredible opportunity. I’m excited to be a senior coach, particularly with this young Eagles team that has so much upside.
“It has come at the right time for me and this a role and a move that my family and I are going to embrace.
“I feel a great sense of responsibility for shaping the right environment and adding to the good foundations that are already here to develop this emerging list of players. I can’t wait to get started by playing a role during the remainder of the sign and trade period and at next week’s draft.”
Pearce, 35, played 55 games for Melbourne and retired after leading the Demons to a Grand Final win in 2022.
West Coast have struggled under Prior, winning twice this year and last.
“We are obviously thrilled to have someone of Daisy’s standing joining our club,” Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett said.
“This is a tremendous fillip for our women’s program and she comes to us at an ideal time to assist in the growth and development of our team.
“Daisy’s record speaks for itself and she has all the credentials required to help our young squad achieve their undoubted potential. I know our players will be absolutely delighted with this appointment.
“While we are thrilled to have her on board, she is equally excited by the opportunity and is keen to get to work as soon as possible in directing the evolution of the squad.”
“While we’re disappointed to lose Daisy from our AFL program, we understand the significance of this opportunity, and wish her every success in her new role with the Eagles,” Geelong Cats General Manager of Football Andrew Mackie said.
“When Daisy joined the club through the Coaching Acceleration program, it was to fast-track her development and expand her existing skills and knowledge, whilst giving greater insight into the workings of a football department as a coach, and the program has delivered just that.
“This is just the next step in what looks set to be a long, exciting journey for Daisy in the AFL and AFLW coaching space, and we were thrilled to have been part of the start of that journey.”