Erin Phillips scores post-retirement TV role with Channel 7 amid doubts over Daisy Pearce

The retired AFLW great has joined Channel 7's AFL commentary team for the upcoming season.

Pictured left Erin Phillips and right Daisy Pearce
Erin Phillips has joined Channel 7 AFL's commentary team for the upcoming season, following in the footsteps of Daisy Pearce in commentating for Channel 7 post career. Image: Getty

Retired sporting great Erin Phillips says she is following in the footsteps of AFLW icon Daisy Pearce after taking a job with Channel 7's AFL commentary team. Phillips is widely regarded as one of Australia's most successful athletes. She has won three AFLW premierships and two league best and fairest medals and enjoyed a successful basketball career which included two WNBA titles and a world championship.

Phillips will join the commentary team for the Giants-Magpies round one clash and is expected to predominantly feature on Thursday night footy. The 38-year-old says she is committed to succeeding in her post-football career after hanging up the boots at the end of last season and has turned to brother-in-law and fellow commentator Shaun Burgoyne for some pointers.

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"Do your homework similar to as you were a player … obviously you don’t get to go out and play, but you get to talk about it and give your opinion,” she told 7News about how she plans to prepare for her commentary gig. "Making sure that I’m very well prepared and doing a lot of study.

"I was up at 5am this morning so thought I’d watch some replays from last year’s games and take some notes. I think you see the great commentators and great media people, they do a lot of preparation and a lot of hard work so it’s something that I’d like to get really really good at."

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 04: Erin Phillips of the Power does a lap of honour during the 2023 AFLW Round 10 match between The Port Adelaide Power and The GWS GIANTS at Alberton Oval on November 04, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Erin Phillips is widely regarded as one of Australia's most successful athletes. Image: Getty (James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Phillips says both Pearce and former teammate Abbey Holmes have helped pave the way for players to transition into commentating roles post-career and both were motivators for her taking the role. "Those two (Pearce and Holmes) particularly have done an incredible job at leading the way in this area. I’ve obviously had the privilege to play with Abbey and against Dais and both have such incredible knowledge of the game," Phillips said.

"They are so well prepared when they go into games and you can just tell with the research and homework they have done. They’re on point and they love the game. They have been two huge motivators for me flying that flag and do my job well and have that voice come across. I'm excited, it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to working on this craft and hopefully, I do a good job."

Daisy Pearce's commentary uncertainty amid West Coast role

Phillips' appointment comes amid uncertainty around what role if any Pearce will have with Channel 7 following her appointment as West Coast’s AFLW coach. Pearce juggled her commentary gig with an assistant coaching position at Geelong last year and has declared she is keen to continue her media commitments with Channel 7 despite her new position.

The 35-year-old has worked as a game-day commentator and pundit for the last two years - a role that caused controversy this season due to her being employed by the Cats. Several AFL clubs banned Pearce from entering their change rooms post-game, fearing she could relay intel back to Geelong.

But Pearce doesn't believe her AFLW coaching role will prevent her from continuing her media duties. “If there's any way that I can stay involved with Channel 7 and the media work around that, I'll definitely explore it,” she said on SEN radio in December. “It's a conversation for (Seven West Media chair) Kerry Stokes, (Managing Director for Seven Melbourne) Lewis Martin (and I), who have been so supportive of me before this and in making this decision.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 21: Daisy Pearce of the Demons speaks to media during a Melbourne Demons AFLW media opportunity at AAMI Park on November 21, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)
Daisy Pearce doesn't believe that her AFLW coaching role will prevent her from continuing her Channel 7 media duties. (Morgan Hancock via Getty Images)

“If I can stay involved, I would love to because the privilege of commentating and working in media isn't lost on me. It's been awesome and a thrill. But yeah, my commitment and priority now will have to become my team at West Coast.”

Phillips says she won't be doing the same as Pearce, stating she will be coaching in some capacity but that won't extend beyond the SMOSH West Lakes' U8 girls team, the team her seven-year-old daughter Brooklyn plays in. "That’s the pinnacle of my coaching – the under 8s – and I think it might be the biggest challenge, to be honest," she told 7News.

"Definitely something I’ve considered in all the avenues in retirement, but this is the coaching role I’ve always wanted, to be able to coach my kid so I’ll be happy to do this as long as I can and if they want me to keep me after one season."

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