Former Port Adelaide player Kane Cornes has declared he believes Daisy Pearce will have to choose between her dual roles at Channel 7 and Geelong. The retired AFLW player has been caught in an awkward drama across the opening three rounds of the AFL season, with Richmond and Brisbane both banning her from entering their change-rooms while working for Channel 7.
As well as her commentary role with the free-to-air broadcaster, Pearce is working as an assistant coach at the Cats this year. But the dual roles have sparked some friction amongst rival AFL teams due to the fact that Channel 7 conducts its post-match show from the winning team's change-rooms.
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Pearce has moved to Channel 7's coverage of Thursday night footy in 2023, but was denied access to the Richmond rooms in round one, before also being banned by Brisbane in round three. As Lions coach Chris Fagan revealed on Wednesday, he doesn't think it would be appropriate for a Geelong coach to be in opposition teams' change-rooms - even while working in the media.
Discussing the situation on Friday, Port Adelaide great Cornes said he thinks Pearce will ultimately have to choose one role over the other. “I look at the schedule of an assistant coach – they work extraordinary hours. So personally, I don’t know how she’s doing both," Cornes said on SEN radio.
The 300-gamer also said he believes Pearce has the footy smarts to be a head coach in the AFL. However Cornes believes the 34-year-old should dedicate her full attention to coaching rather than the media.
“I think she has the capabilities to be a senior coach somewhere down the road. That’s not going to happen if she continues down this (commentary) road,” he added.
“It’s topical because clubs have banned her – and I think it’s the right call from clubs to do that. But if she wants to do it, I think she’s got to make a choice one way or another. Eventually, I think that will come.
“It feels like her passion is coaching, but I think it’s unsustainable to think she'll be able to do both effectively. If she wants to be great at one, she’s going to have to choose.”
Matthew Richardson calls out Daisy Pearce 'double standard'
Earlier this week, Richmond great and fellow Channel 7 commentator Matthew Richardson said it was a 'double standard' that teams had banned Pearce, but not the likes of himself, Jimmy Bartel or Luke Darcy. Bartel has taken up a role on the board at the GWS Giants, while Darcy has also held football roles with the Western Bulldogs.
"I don’t see why Daisy is being singled out here," he said. “I just don’t see why she’s being banned from rooms.
"I mean, there’s always been people with dual roles in this business, whether you think it’s right or not. There’s been plenty of media performers over the years that have also had roles at footy clubs, there’s plenty doing it now as we speak.”
Fagan earlier said he sympathised with Pearce but didn't think it was right for her to be in the Lions rooms. “I’m not deliberately targeting Daisy, but it’s no different … if one of my assistant coaches worked in the media and wanted to go into the rooms of another club, and they wouldn’t necessarily feel all that comfortable with that because you do see things and you do hear things,” he said.
“I think you’re conflicted when you work as a coach and you work in the media. I think that’s a terribly difficult thing to manage. The preference would be that we shouldn’t have to make the choice – I think that’s unfair on the clubs.
“I’d rather not take that chance, and I don’t want our people walking around on eggshells just because they’re worried about what someone may or may not see. I just hope it doesn’t turn into one of those things every year … is Daisy being let in or is Daisy not being let in?”
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