Daisy Pearce talks to Eagles players at quarter-time of the practice match between West Coast and Fremantle at Mineral Resources Park on May 4, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

DAISY Pearce says one of her biggest early challenges in her new role as West Coast's senior coach has been balancing the emotional energy she expends on her players with the love and care she needs to give her young family. 

Pearce, 36, is about to embark on her first pre-season in charge of the Eagles, having made the move west after 12 months as a part-time assistant coach under Chris Scott in Geelong's men's program. 

The Melbourne AFLW premiership captain told her former Cats colleague Isaac Smith on the Inside with Issie podcast that finding the right balance between work and home life had been hard to manage early in her Eagles career.   


Daisy Pearce and Isaac Smith during the match between the Western Bulldogs and Geelong in June, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"To be the coach that I want to be, you sort of have to be all in, and almost love and care for your players and the people around you like they're your daughters or your family," she said. 

"[At] the great footy clubs that I had the privilege of being a part of, that's how I'd describe it, so now that I'm sort of steering and shaping one, I want to create that environment for the players and staff

"You have to be really careful not to lose the balance of giving and nurturing that, because that's your job day-to-day and you spend so much time doing it, and as a competitor that wants to get good, fast, there's no end to the amount of that you can do.

"I had such a good role model in Mick Stinear who was able to do it for so many different people, but just finding those boundaries to make sure you're not giving it all you've got, because you come home to the most important thing which is your own family.

Daisy Pearce, her partner Ben and their children Sylvie and Roy at Pearce's retirement media conference on January 18, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"I think that's something that's been the biggest adjustment, going from a part-time role at the Cats last year, where I was learning so much, and getting really valuable experiences but I wasn't like the head of the program and I didn't have people relying on and drawing on me so much.

"I was kind of like a bit-part player and having little contributions here and there but it wasn't sort of going through me, but the big change this year ... it's making sure that you've got enough to give when you get home as well and I've found that hard."

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