Geelong chief executive Steve Hocking has confirmed that the club has approached AFLW star Daisy Pearce about securing her services as an assistant coach.
- Pearce remains contracted as a Melbourne AFLW player, but at 33 could retire soon
- Geelong men’s captain Patrick Dangerfield said he was ‘very excited’ about the prospect of Pearce coaching at Geelong
- The AFLW star has recently taken over as Friday night AFL’s special comments analyst
Speaking on SEN, Hocking was asked about a report in Nine Fairfax newspapers that Pearce was being lured to work as a men’s assistant coach under the mentorship of Chris Scott.
“Most [clubs] would have an interest in where Daisy would like to spend her future,” Hocking said on Tuesday.
“Daisy [Pearce] is one of the most decorated players and certainly an icon of football — not just women’s football, but football in general.”
Pearce remains a contracted Melbourne AFLW player, with her side sitting second on the ladder with seven wins from eight games.
In 2022, the AFLW season runs for 10 rounds, followed by three weeks of finals.
At 33, there is speculation that Pearce could retire at season’s end, with Hocking saying she was currently focused on achieving the ultimate success with the Demons.
“Talking to her manager, they’re certainly committed to Daisy continuing [at Melbourne], and she hasn’t made a decision as to what her future looks like at all.
“They’re clearly going to have a big say in the [AFLW] finals; they’d love to win a premiership.”
On Wednesday, Geelong men’s captain Patrick Dangerfield also weighed into the discussion, telling SEN he was “pretty excited” about the prospect of Pearce joining the club.
“Whether it’s the Geelong footy club that she comes to – and I’m bloody hopeful that it is – I’ve got no doubt that she’ll make a terrific coach when she decides to hang up the boots.
“She’d do it [coaching] easily to be honest.”
Off the field, Pearce has forged a career as a much-respected commentator, with Channel Seven recently announcing that she would replace Wayne Carey as Friday night’s AFL special comments analyst.
“She has so much respect within the industry,” said Dangerfield.
“She’s the face of the female game, let’s be frank. She’s been such a figurehead.
“We’re a much stronger industry because of female involvement and we’ll be stronger again with greater female involvement — whether it’s coaching, high-level administration [or as a] CEO … and she’s been a huge leader of that.”
Should Geelong secure Pearce’s services as a coach, she would likely be employed under a new AFL initiative to encourage the employment of more women in senior coaching roles.
The Women’s Coach Acceleration Program, announced in December last year, will see the AFL and clubs co-fund six positions for women to be employed in an AFL men’s or AFLW coaching position for a minimum two-year period.
It is a competitive process, with all 18 clubs invited to apply.
The six successful applicants then receive formal mentoring from a senior AFL men’s coach.
The AFL has confirmed it will co-fund the program, with the successful clubs’ contribution exempt from “soft cap” limits (the amount of money clubs can spend on football department staff).
Source: AFL NEWS ABC