Erin Phillips looks to handball over her left shoulder

AFLW’s inaugural star Erin Phillips announces her retirement

AFLW star Erin Phillips will play her last game of elite football this weekend, after announcing her retirement following eight seasons in which she achieved distinction as one of the league’s most formidable competitors and decorated athletes.

Key points:

Erin Phillips retires as one of the AFLW’s best and fairest players
Her honours include three premierships and several All-Australian selections
The 38-year-old says she is looking forward to spending more time with her family

The code’s inaugural best-and-fairest winner and premiership co-captain will play one final match on Saturday afternoon, before hanging up her boots at the conclusion of the game against GWS, Port Adelaide has confirmed.

The 38-year-old captained both the Power and the Adelaide Crows and is one of the competition’s most successful players, with honours including several All-Australian selections, as well as three premierships and two league best-and-fairest medals.

Phillips played more than 60 games for both Adelaide teams and made the highly publicised move to the Crows’ cross-town rivals when the Power entered the AFLW in 2022, joining the club with whom her father Greg achieved distinction.

In a statement, Phillips said the “time is right” for her to retire, and said she now looked forward to spending more time with her family.

“I am so grateful to Port Adelaide and the Adelaide Football Club for giving me the opportunity to play the game I have loved since I was little,” Phillips said.

“It’s been an amazing ride and I’m looking forward to the next chapter. For me, that will mean giving my body a rest and spending more time with my family.”

Chelsea Randall and Erin Phillips celebrate the 2022 AFLW premiership.(Getty Images: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

The former elite basketballer expressed satisfaction that she was ending her football career with the same club as the one most highly associated with her family.

“I am so grateful to be finishing my playing days at Port Adelaide,” she said.

“To share the last two years of my career with the Alberton crowd has been an incredible experience. I have given everything I had left to this club.

“It has been a true privilege to lead this team and I can’t wait to see what this group will achieve in the coming years.”

In its tribute to Phillips, the Power described her “as one of the best cross-code athletes in Australian sport”, and noted her highly successful basketball career across Australia, Europe and the United States, in which silverware included two WNBA championships and one WNBL championship.

Erin Phillips looks to handball over her left shoulder

Erin Phillips during a match against St Kilda in 2022.(Getty Images: Darrian Traynor)

The club said she would “forever leave her mark” on the AFLW.

“We wish Erin all the very best in her retirement. Erin, Tracy and their children, Brooklyn, Blake, Drew and Londyn will always be part of the Port Adelaide family,” Port Adelaide’s AFLW head Juliet Haslam said.

“Erin is a formidable athlete and an exemplary leader.

“She is a proud Port Adelaide person and her commitment to her craft is second to none. We are so pleased to have shared in the last two seasons of her career.

“It’s been wonderful to watch her lead our group as captain, and we look forward to seeing what she will do next.”

AFLW star Erin Phillips has gold body paint applied.

Phillips has gold body paint applied in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall as part of a so-called “living art installation” to highlight the prevalence of homelessness.(ABC News: Trent Murphy)



Author: Russell White