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SUCCESS across multiple sport codes has done little to dampen AFLW champion Erin Philips’ drive to succeed.
After a glittering basketball career including two NBA rings, a FIBA gold medal and an Olympic silver medal with the Australian Opals, Erin started her AFLW career at 31, an age many players are labelled veterans.
Given her family’s AFL pedigree – Father Greg is an eight-time premiership player with Port Adelaide, while brother-in-law Shaun Burgoyne is preparing for his 18th AFL season – the draw to footy was understandable. But the switch from NBA to AFLW carried plenty of risk.
“I was risking my last Dallas Wings contract by potentially getting injured playing footy,” she said. “That’s a lot to risk financially.
“But would I be ok sitting on the couch, watching an AFLW league, and I wasn’t on the field? Straight away I was like, no way.”
Her bet certainly paid off. Phillips’ debut season with the Adelaide Crows culminated in winning the AFLW Best and Fairest, the AFLW Players Most Valuable Player Award, a premiership medallion and being named vice-captain of the All-Australian team.
Given the relatively late start to her AFLW career, Phillips is not content to rest on her laurels.
“Time is chasing me,” she said. “I’m going to give it my absolute best and leave nothing left.”