DAISY Pearce’s comeback story is well and truly under way.
Just over five months after giving birth to twins, Pearce returned to training at Gosch’s Paddock with her teammates for the first time.
“I’ve still got a lot of work to do but it was just good getting out there and getting a bit of the rust out,” Pearce told Melbourne Media.
The 31-year-old has worked hard to get in a position to return to the field, but understands she’ll have to take it slow as she looks to become one of the best players in the AFLW competition once again.
“In years gone by I probably was really competitive and wanting to hit pre-season the fittest and win things,” Pearce said.
“I’m probably going to have to think about it at use the pre-season to get match fit.
“I’ve got a long way to go but I’m pretty pleased with where I’m at considering I’ve had the babies. I’m probably a little bit ahead of where I thought I’d be at this stage, so going well.”
While Pearce knew returning to football after giving birth was going to be a big ask, she's now finding out exactly how tough it really is.
“I probably underestimated how busy I would be,” she said.
“For all the challenges, there’s so much reward and joy with it as well, so it’s going well, but it’s never been more challenging.
“I don’t know what I used to do with all my spare time, and training prep has got a whole new look now.”
With just under six months until Round 1 of the AFLW season, Pearce is ramping up her work, after putting in the hard yards prior to her first session.
“Probably about two months ago it started looking more like footy training, and on top of that I’ve been doing full days in here on a Tuesday where I hit up strength and conditioning and get my run program for the week,” she said.
“I go and see Mick (Stinear) and spend a fair bit of time watching vision and doing some skill stuff with him – indoors to this point – but it’s good to be back out on the grass and have real footy boots on.”
And while Pearce has had one of the most exciting years of her life, she has missed being among the playing group.
“Being pregnant was almost like feeling semi-retired because you had it taken away from you,” she said.
“It made me realise just how much I love playing footy and love this group – it’s a really special bunch of girls.
“So to get back out here and be the subject of all their jokes and banter feels like a piece of me is back restored again.”