Celebrating their newly achieved AFLW dynasty, Adelaide are well aware new club Port Adelaide will come hard in pursuit of their premiership players, especially superstar Erin Phillips.
The Crows claimed a record third AFLW premiership with Saturday’s 13-point grand final win over Melbourne, with Phillips among those to feature in all three title triumphs.
Phillips, the daughter of former Port Adelaide SANFL star Greg Phillips, was due to be the Power’s marquee player before they opted not to bid for a licence in the inaugural season.
The former Opals basketballer instead joined Adelaide, was co-captain with Chelsea Randall from 2017 to 2020 and won both the league best and fairest and best on ground in claiming the inaugural premiership in 2017.
Three-time All-Australian Phillips repeated that feat in 2019, when she tore her ACL in the decider.
Now 36, she has been tipped to finish her career in her family club at Port Adelaide, who will enter the competition next season, but wouldn’t be drawn on her future post-match.
“Honestly, my whole goal has been to win another premiership with this team,” an emotional Phillips told the Seven Network.
“I haven’t thought about that (my future). There’s been a lot of noise, a lot of people talking about what’s next.
“That’s something my wife Tracy and I will sit down and talk about and see what’s next in life. There’s more factors than just one simple choice for me.
“We’ll see how we go but right now I’m just so proud to be a Crow.”
Coach Matthew Clarke, who faces the challenge of keeping a winning group together, hailed Phillips’ influence but didn’t have any clarity on her future.
“I’ve got no idea (what’s next for Phillips). But we’re really proud of her,” he said.
“In those formative years, the early couple of years, Erin and Chelsea (Randall) drove the culture and the standards and they taught them how to be professional and how to be good.
“When we talk about cementing a legacy, a large part’s her legacy and Chelsea’s as well, obviously. We’re amazingly proud of her and we’ll see what happens over the next little while.
“I imagine in the near future there’ll be announcements around when the season’s going to be and when the sign and trade periods and so forth are going to be.
“Once we get that information to hand, then we’ll probably have to get our skates on and start speaking to all of our players.”