Come February, life will be a little different for Daisy Pearce.
Instead of dominating the midfield in the AFL Women’s competition, the Melbourne star will be welcoming two new names into the red and blue family – a prospect she admits has been full of emotion.
“In a way [it’s been tough], because you’re so competitive,” Pearce told Melbourne Media.
“You’re always thinking one more [season] and about next year, so you can just keep putting it off and off for a long time I suppose.
“I finished last season wanting to go a couple better this year, and with big plans of what that looked like. Obviously, this changes that plan a bit for me personally, but it’s been good to be able to adjust.”
Starting a family has always been on the cards for Pearce, with the twins’ imminent arrival to be the first for herself and her partner, Ben.
Since announcing her pregnancy earlier this year, the 30-year-old has received a wealth of support from her teammates, the club and the wider football community.
But she admits the journey hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
“When we first got back together for the program, it was really hard,” Pearce said.
“Mick presented the big plan for this year, where he saw us heading and the adjustments we were going to make to our game style.
“It was a pretty motivating and inspiring presentation, so that was a hard moment.
“The other rock-bottom moment was walking into our new locker room and being rapted to see these new flash lockers that we didn’t have last year. As I scanned along the numbers, I realised it went four, five, seven, eight, and there wasn’t one for number six, as there’s only 30 of them.
“It’s taken a bit of adjusting…but its an awesome thing.”
Although the two new additions are set to arrive “about round two or three”, Pearce has stayed heavily involved in the club, taking on a mentoring role.
The former captain has been working with Melbourne’s first-year players, helping them settle into the environment and bringing them up to speed with the game at the elite level.
“It’s been really rewarding, and I really look forward to seeing what they can do when we start playing game early next year,” Pearce said.
“It’s kind of nice to take a step back and realise that you do really love the game, and are still motivated to get out there and contribute.”
Hoping to return to the competition in 2020, Pearce is embracing the challenge of playing footy with two youngsters in tow.
And while it’s unfamiliar territory, she can’t wait to embark on the next chapter of her life.
“I keep telling myself it’s been done before, and I’m pretty relaxed about the whole thing,” Pearce said.
“I’m sure I won’t be the last person to get pregnant and want to get back to play footy, or any sport for that matter.
“As we start to see more and more elite women’s sports, we’ll see more and more people trying to juggle it and their family commitments.
“I’m one of the first in footy to go through it, but let’s hope we see it more and more – it’ll be a beautiful part of sport.”