Grand Final bound with Daisy Pearce

Ahead of Saturday’s AFLW Grand Final between Melbourne and Adelaide, we sat down with Zurich ambassador and Dees AFLW captain Daisy Pearce to discuss how she’s preparing for the big match and how she’s achieved balance and perspective.

Zurich: Congratulations on making the Grand Final Daisy! What does this mean to the team?

Daisy Pearce: It’s just super exciting for the team. Every football season requires a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices. Even more this year with Covid still happening whilst the community has moved on. It's been tricky to navigate and taken a lot of sacrifices from a team point of view.

It's always rewarding regardless, but the idea of having something to show for all of those sacrifices and hard work is what you're always chasing and to have something that the team physically achieves would be great. Something that you can always look back on and remember.

We've been working away at our game style for a long, long time and we've been close a number of times, but never this close. So one more and it'll be a pretty good day on Saturday!

Zurich: And what does making the Grand Final mean to you personally?  

It's pretty similar to what you're trying to achieve as a team. It's just reward for so much hard work and energy put in over the years.

It's funny - winning a Premiership is part of what drives me to play - but I’m also not scared of not winning one. I don't know if it's just getting older or having kids, but my perspective has shifted. I think it's the reason why I'm enjoying my footy so much, I’ve never been so driven but also have a great balance at the moment. I know I give footy everything I have, but if something doesn’t go our way, at the end of the day I come home to a safe house and a healthy family and get on with a pretty good life.

Zurich: They’ll obviously be lots of news stories about you and media appearances to do this week in the lead up to the game, how do you block out that external noise and keep relaxed ahead of Saturday? Is that even possible?

I actually did this last week – I removed Instagram, Twitter and the AFL women's app off my phone. It wasn’t having a negative impact on me, I just didn’t want to spend any extra energy reading into the commentary. I’ve turned it back on here and there, but I’m trying not to let it consume me for the week.

I’m so focused on what I have to do as a player that I don’t have to try too hard to block it all out.  I’m just not resisting what the week is, because you do have to acknowledge that it’s not going to be exactly the same. I’m hanging onto our normal structure, all those usual touch points like training that are a normal part of the week. I’m channelling my energy into those and then will go about playing my role on the weekend.

Zurich: It’s trying to normalize the week, but also enjoying the build-up because it is a special experience you're going through?

Yeah, that's it and I think if you try and block it all out, that takes energy as well. It’s finding the balance between celebrating and enjoying the opportunity this week, but then focusing on the job at hand.

Zurich: And what’s the plan for the family on Saturday – will there be a strong Pearce contingent at Adelaide Oval?

Yes, people from the family are converging on Adelaide Oval from all parts of Australia. I have family in New South Wales, family in Country Victoria. One of who’s a pilot, so they are chartering a plane from Albury which will be cool!

Then Ben (Daisy’s partner) and a few people from Melbourne will come as well. The kids are going to spend the weekend at their grandparents. It would be nice and romantic for me to have them there, but I’m not the one who has to look after them all weekend and I think the family is more nervous than I am, so it would be nice for them to be able to sit and watch rather than chase 3 year old’s around Adelaide Oval! 

Zurich: All the best on Saturday Daisy, the team at Zurich are right behind you!