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Daisy Pearce to join Cats’ coaching staff

Melbourne AFLW captain Daisy Pearce will kick off her coaching career at Geelong after she finishes off playing.

Geelong have landed Pearce as part of the AFL’s women’s coach acceleration program, where top female coaches will be employed by an AFL club for a minimum two-year period between now and 2025.

Pearce, 34, has already committed to playing on for the upcoming season, which starts in August, but her playing career beyond that is uncertain.

“I’m thrilled about coaching opportunities when my playing days at Melbourne have finished,” Pearce said in a statement.

“When that is honestly I’m not sure, but coaching is something that excites me when the time is right. I’m grateful for Geelong’s interest and Melbourne’s ongoing support.

“For the season ahead, my focus remains on representing the Melbourne Football Club and being the best player and teammate I can be.

“Going one step further and winning the flag is my dream and I can’t wait to get stuck into another pre-season with the girls.”

Pearce is the only candidate who isn’t completing her coaching pathway at the club she is currently playing or involved at.

“Daisy has incredible knowledge of the game itself and we think she has enormous potential to coach football at the highest level,” Geelong general manager of football Simon Lloyd said.

“… We will be delighted to have Daisy on board when the time is right.”

Boom recruit Erin Phillips will be at Port Adelaide while Adelaide captain Chelsea Randall has joined the Crows’ program. GWS skipper Alicia Eva will work at the Giants.

Hawthorn AFLW coach Bec Goddard, Essendon AFLW coach Natalie Wood, former Brisbane captain and Lions AFLW assistant Emma Zielke and Collingwood VFLW coach Chloe McMillan will complete the program at their respective clubs.

North Melbourne’s candidate is yet to be confirmed.

The coaches all receive a formal mentorship with a senior men’s AFL coach and a level 3 AFL coaching accreditation.

Triple-premiership captain Randall is the first-ever woman in the Crows’ mens’ coaching ranks and will attend all AFL men’s meetings, selection, reviews and be in the coaches’ box on game day.

“We are trying to normalise female coaches within this AFL industry and I think that is such an exciting thing,” Randall told reporters.

“You can’t be what you can’t see and that was the same with AFLW players and we have seen these phenomenal athletes … on the ground, on TV now, and hopefully girls can also see that you can also aspire to be a coach as well in that space.”

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