IN FOUR years of AFLW competition, Erin Phillips has been the dominant name of the young League – two competition best and fairests, two flags and best on ground in both Grand Final wins for the Adelaide Crows.
After an adult sporting lifetime starring on the basketball courts, her return after two decades to her first love of football affirmed the boldly-stated view of legendary Port Adelaide coach John Cahill - before a single game of AFLW was ever played - that Erin was about to stamp her name large.
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"Erin Phillips was the most dominant 13 year-old footballer I ever saw in my life, better than every boy at that age I've seen," Cahill said.
"If the AFLW had been in existence for all of her sporting career, she would have 11 or 12 competition best and fairests because she was just that far ahead of everyone, but it was basketball's gain that we didn't have a proper competition for our women players.
"It never surprised me how good she was with the Crows in the last few years because her father was a completely dominant footballer himself," Cahill said of Greg Phillips, who now enters the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Greg was his daughter Erin's hero, and she had the thrill as a seven year-old to run onto Football Park with her father for the victory lap when he captained the Magpies to the 1992 SANFL premiership, the last of his eight flags as a player across 343 games for Port Adelaide.
As Erin grew into her international basketball career, she truly appreciated what her father achieved in his time at the top.
"When me and my older sisters (Rachel and Amy) were little and growing up at the end of his career, dad was dad and we knew he was a really good footballer in a really good team," Erin said of her father's induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
"Port Adelaide had a lot of success and it was a great club to be around.
"As I got to play elite sport, I fully realised just how good dad was.
"Championships and titles are just so hard to win, with all the work that goes into success around your training and your preparation and the support you need to chase your dreams.
"Dad's got eight premierships and all of us were just so thrilled it happened for him to be recognised and now be in the Hall of Fame.
"You never know if it will happen and there were plenty of tears when he told us, and I'm so pleased for mum (Julie), because of all she did, both for dad and for us girls to live out what we wanted to do."
When Erin returned to the game for the dawn of AFLW, it also gave her access to an elite football mind.
"Dad was at every possible basketball game for me when I was young and the same for Rachel and Amy with their netball. He didn't know the Xs and Os of our tactics but he was always encouraging and telling us to be our best.
"Once I came back to footy, it was very different because I suddenly had a guy who knew everything about set-ups, when I was doing the right thing or the wrong thing, and a mine of information to help me be better."
Erin's dedication to succeed in her crossover to footy has become renowned in recent years, and age has also taught her to admire how father Greg somehow found the balance between elite achievement and enjoying his time at the top, as he remains revered as the off-field glue of his Port teams.
In their childhood, it seemed a constant array of friends and acquaintances gravitated to the Phillips' clan. All were drawn to the engaging country lad, who remains unchanged with a ready smile.
"Dad got the balance right and I think that was a big part of him being successful for so long.
"All my life, I've been hearing stories of things he would to relax the tension in the team, or welcome new people, or doing something that still makes people smile even now years after it happened, knowing too that they also say that when it was time to work hard and do the right thing, he would do that."
Like the time after a particularly heavy loss to arch-rival Norwood, a seething Cahill at training the next day broke his arriving players into groups of three – senior player with two younger players – and told them 'do something useful for an hour', before we really work hard and get better after that loss.
One player took his two teammates out onto the oval and they ran repeat 200m sprints until they were exhausted.
One player took his two teammates into the gym for a weights session.
One player took his two teammates into the boxing ring for sparring.
However, one senior player who took his two tyros for the 12km return run to Football Park and back, was surprised as they came back via the Alberton Hotel near the ground to see Phillips waving from the open window adjoining the front bar, shouting a beer for himself and wingman Kym Kinnear, and a squash for tee-totaller Anthony Williams, twin brother of Mark.
Like the time during a pre-season match at Elizabeth, he switched himself to full forward early in the final term because he hadn't kicked a goal for a few years. Later, in that same game as time was running out, when fellow defender George Fiacchi moved himself forward with the same idea of kicking a cheap goal, Phillips tackled him to prevent him scoring, and demanded the opposition man up on his team mate.
"I just smile and laugh at these stories I find about him, because he was such a team man, and he placed such importance on everyone being comfortable and feeling they could do their best when it counted," Erin said.
"He's very humble about what he achieved and even when he told me he had been inducted, it was in such a ridiculous 'dad' way to tell me.
"He came over to help me wash some windows a few months back and we'd been working for 45 minutes or so, and he just tells me he's in the Hall of Fame, and that he got a call from the AFL.
"I start to cry because I'm so pleased for him and then I yell at him, 'We've been here washing windows for 45 minutes and you just tell me now like this. When did you find this out?'.
"Then he tells me he found out about a week or two beforehand and he'd been meaning to tell me. Like, dad, I live a few hundred metres from you and mum.
"It's etched in history now and we are all so happy."