Grateful Dees pair reflect on it all

AFTER Melbourne finally broke through for their inaugural flag yesterday, it was hard to wipe the smiles of the faces of it’s captain Daisy Pearce and coach Mick Stinear.

Pearce said that although it had not fully sunk in yet, her overwhelming emotion was pride.

“It’s taken a bit of time to sink in actually, but I’m just so proud of our group” she said.

“Every single person that’s made it possible, players and non playing players, all our staff, coaches, the whole club that’s kind of been behind this unit since day one, it’s seven years in the making.

“To sit here now and know that we got the job done in trying conditions, to have to come up here to Brisbane, in the heat that was so well talked about from the mob up here and I even love that it was a grind. I sort of have an identity crisis whenever I hear about our team that they’re this slick outside running, polished team and it’s like that’s not us, we’re a hard contest team with a whole lot of spirit, so to win the game the way we did couldn’t have been more perfect. Just so proud.”

Ever the humble champion, Pearce was quick to deflect the talk about herself and keen to praise her team mates, including the likes of Sarah Lampard, Tayla Harris and Blaithin Mackin.

When asked about what it meant to win for her personally, she was just as quick to start talking about others.

She said that she was “just wrapped that we got it done for someone like this bloke [referring to Stinear], and Paxy [Karen Paxman] and Lil [Lily Mithen] , Lampy [Sarah Lampard], Loz Pearce, I shouldn’t have started naming names, Kate Hore.”

Stinear’s emotions were similar to Pearce’s, and was feeling just as proud.

“It’s pretty special, and I’m probably not going to say anything new that Daisy hasn’t already said, but it’s pretty aligned with how I feel about this group.

“I think we just got the balance right with what we wanted to focus our attention on this season, and we’ve always had a special group of humans and talented footballers and we’ve always known that, but we’ve never been able to leverage that from a performance point of view consistently, and I just feel like this season, we actually got it right.

“We were able to leverage the fact that we’ve got great people that would do anything for each other, but convert that into performance and the off field behaviours that then spill on field, and just rewarding and valuing the little things that we can do for each other, and knowing that’ll stack up under the greatest pressure and under the ultimate test. That was the part that off the back of last season we felt that we were missing we came up short in.

“To go through this whole season and invest so much in the offseason and you know you’ve got players living together that become great friends and great housemates. You’ve got teammates that would do anything for each other, supporting each other’s partners, through exam periods and the losses and tough blows in life that everyone goes through, but you’ve got this group of people that have got each other’s backs and that’s what we saw today and it spilled out onto the footy field.

“Some of the contests, now that was a brutal, physical game, and some of those moments and contests in that last quarter, you couldn’t be prouder and they just played with enormous heart.”

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