Reports out of West Lakes today suggest that Don Pyke has taken the extraordinary measure of withdrawing Erin Phillips from the remainder of the AFLW season as she begins a shortened preseason with the aim of taking part in the Adelaide Men’s team Round One clash against Essendon.
The Journal can reveal that after Phillips’ four goal game against the Western Bulldogs, Pyke made to decision to include her in the 2018 AFL squad.
“We see Erin playing a role for us as a forward who can run through the midfield. Certainly she has a stronger physical presence than some of our players. I’d suggest Josh Jenkins needs to lift his intensity if he wants to keep his spot.”
“We’ve had Neil Craig in doing the sport science for us. There is no doubt that Erin’s numbers are higher than your bog average players like Sam Gray and Jasper Pittard, so we think she can contribute to our season. We need to be careful to not play her too often, as her dominance might lull some of the boys into a false sense of security.”
Adelaide’s AFLW coach Bec Goddard is reportedly fuming at the decision, despite the fact that the AFL have allowed her access to one delisted AFL player as compensation.
“I’ve lost Erin Phillips and all I get in return is Dean Gore. What the hell am I supposed to do with that.”