calendar-grid-61 copy Created with Sketch. chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close envelope facebook info instagram location menu phone search-sml search star-half star-o star twitter

My Melbourne: Daisy Pearce

17 Feb 2017

The inaugural AFL Women’s competition has kicked off, bringing many trail-blazing women to the forefront of Melbourne’s sporting agenda. Leading the way is Melbourne Demons captain Daisy Pearce, who took some time out from training to chat with Melbourne Now about life in and outside of football.

How long have you lived in Melbourne?

I moved here in 2002, so 15 years. I grew up in Bright in north-eastern Victoria. I’ve moved around a little bit, usually on the north side of the city, and I live in Parkville now.

What do you love most about living in Melbourne?

We are spoilt when it comes to sporting events. Being a sports nut, this is a big thing for me. At any time of the year there are always major sporting events on. It’s not just the sport itself, it’s the atmosphere — it really brings out the best in our city. And the coffee! We’re spoilt for coffee.

Can you tell us a bit about your childhood?

I say I grew up in Bright, but I actually grew up in a town about 6km past Bright in a town called Wandiligong (good luck spelling that!). I had a brother either side of me and lived on an acre block, with a horse and plenty of room to roam which is something that I’m really grateful for now. I was always a really sporty kid and followed my brother everywhere he went. My ambition throughout my childhood was to beat him at everything he was trying to do, which is probably how I got involved in footy. I am really grateful for my childhood and having grown up in a beautiful little town.

We understand that you recently put your career as a midwife on hold to take up your position with the Demons. Can you tell us a bit about this change?

I am still a midwife but I had put this on hold. I studied midwifery and nursing after I finished school. I worked as midwife at Box Hill hospital for about four and a half years. I finished up at the beginning of 2016 and spent the year working at the Melbourne Football Club.

I love my job as a midwife. It is the most rewarding job on the planet, and something I really cherish. But a good opportunity came up at the football club and given things were starting to ramp up with the playing side, it was a really good fit. It gives me flexibility with my training and the chance to give the football industry a go.

I keep my nursing registration up by doing all of my education and a shift here and there. I think once our playing season finishes I’ll start doing a few more shifts as well.

It sounds like this was a big change for you.

It was a huge change. Even just the hours and the style of work. As a midwife you get to work and you don’t have to think, what will I do next? What you have to do next is just there in front of you and you’re constantly prioritising and working through it. In a corporate sort of job, there’s a lot more time to forward plan and prepare for what might come up. In midwifery, you’ve got such a huge real-life responsibility.

I’ll often drive home thinking, what did I do today? I’m comparing it to days where I’d helped to save a life or helped a family give birth. They’re both challenging for different reasons but it’s been a nice change up for me and good to have a go at something that I’ve always been passionate about in football.

What does a standard week of training look like for you?

At the moment, our team trains together on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We’re together for about four hours for each session. Only about two hours of that is actual physical training, then the other hour either side of it is doing a lot of game education — watching vision and clips and learning the game. There is also time for treatments and recovery. On a Monday and Wednesday I do my gym — weights, strength and conditioning — in my own time. Sunday I usually do recovery and a skills session. I train every day except Friday generally, but even then it’s hard to sit still!

Winning the inaugural AFL Women’s Premiership would be an amazing feat, for yourself, your team and for the city of Melbourne. How can fans support the team in its journey?

We’d love as many people as possible to come down and watch a game – if not at the venue, then by tuning in on TV and embracing this new competition. Positive talk on social media — we know how influential that can be — will certainly help get that promotion going and sustain all the positive talk that has been around it so far.

To support the Melbourne Demons specifically, we’ve got some really cool merchandise that says ‘Melbourne’ on it. If you’re visiting the city it’s a good souvenir of your time here.

What do you love most about sport in Melbourne?

I think the fact that it really brings the best out of the city. We do have the privilege of getting all the major sporting events whether it’s the cricket, tennis, the Spring Carnival Racing and obviously the AFL Grand Final is massive. It’s a great time to be in the city because everyone in Melbourne loves their sport so much and it’s a big part of the culture here. It really does bring the broader community together. It’s a great vibe when we do have sporting events on.

What are your interests outside of football?

I play a fair bit of golf, which I’ve gotten into over the past three or four years. Golf is a good excuse to walk around a beautiful part of wherever you are. It’s just that area at its best and I’ve got a ball and club to keep me interested in the nice walk. I’ve got a little dog that I spend a lot of time walking around with. I love cooking and food as well!

We’d love to hear about your staffy, Django. Do you have any favourite spots in Melbourne to take Django?

Django has the perfect world for a dog. He spends half his time up on my boyfriend’s family farm, and when he comes to Melbourne he fits into the Melbourne lifestyle very well. He’ll quite happily come to a café and have coffee with you. We live in the Royal Park area, so we take him on runs around there. He’s very social, so he enjoys chatting to all the other dogs he meets along the way. The Royal Parklands is right near home and one of his favourite spots.

Daisy's Melbourne Picks

Restaurant Eureka 89. I’ve always had a beautiful night there and the food has been amazing. I remember the first time I just couldn’t believe the view was real. People say ‘breathtaking’ and I never actually thought about what that means, but when I went up and ate there, I can remember actually feeling like my breath was taken away by how cool the view was.

Cafe Code Black in Brunswick. Its tough competition but I reckon they’ve got the best coffee in Melbourne.

Bar This is tricky, which is probably an indication that I need to get out more. Panama Dining Room in Fitzroy is cool. You get a good view of the city and it’s just a really nice spot.

View Looking up the Yarra River towards the sports precinct from Princes Bridge. If you get a nice balmy Melbourne night and MCG is lit-up, I think that’s the best view in Melbourne. It just represents what Melbourne is all about.

Shopping I’m not much of a shopper. It’s usually a get in and get what you need and get out. But when I do, the Emporium and Melbourne Central are really handy and have got everything that you need.

Place to excercise The Tan is amazing. If you’re exercising and it starts to get tough, there are lots of great distractions — a good view or other people you can watch.

Free thing to do I went to the Botanic Gardens on the weekend and that was amazing. To anyone who hasn’t done it, or hasn’t done it for a while, I recommend going there and having a little picnic. It is beautiful.

Event (non-football related) The Boxing Day Test. That’s another nice time in Melbourne — everyone is on holidays.

Must do for any visitor Walk a lap of the Tan and then walk down to Southbank for lunch.

Hidden gem A little bar in High Street, Thornbury called Pallino.