Port Adelaide is thrilled to announce three-time All-Australian Erin Phillips OAM has committed to sign with the club as its first AFLW player for its inaugural campaign.

Widely regarded as the best player in the history of the AFLW competition, Phillips has twice won the highest individual honour as the league’s Best and Fairest to go with three premierships and three All-Australian blazers. 

She was also named best on ground in Adelaide’s 2017 and 2019 Grand Final wins.  

The 36-year-old admitted it was a difficult decision to depart the Crows, where she was a member of its inaugural team and co-captain for the first four seasons of the competition. 

“It’s been an absolute privilege to have been a part of the most successful AFLW club to date,” Phillips said.

“I obviously have great memories and friendships from my time at Adelaide, which I will cherish forever.

“But as a kid growing up, all I wanted was to be like Dad and play football for the Port Adelaide Football Club. Port Adelaide feels like home to me. It’s where I spent a lot of my childhood.

“It was always my dream to be able to represent the club and add to its incredible history, and I am beyond thrilled to finally get that chance and play a role in building this team from the ground up.

“I am really excited by the plans for the Alberton precinct redevelopment and the opportunity to work with some incredible women including Lauren Arnell, Juliet Haslam, Rachael Sporn and Naomi Maidment to establish a successful female football program that will only grow in years to come.”

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Port Adelaide’s Head of AFLW, Juliet Haslam was excited to have Phillips commit to be part of the club’s women’s program.

“Erin is a brilliant player and more importantly a fantastic person,” Haslam said. 

“I have spoken in the past of wanting to build a successful high performance women’s program with a strong culture, and Erin’s character, leadership and experience makes her an ideal first signing.

“She knows what it takes to be successful in elite sport and in particular in the AFLW having won just about every accolade from a team and personal perspective. She also understands what it means to represent Port Adelaide. 

“We are excited to have her commit to be on board, and look forward to adding to our playing group in the coming weeks.”

Prior to dedicating herself to football, Phillips had a decorated basketball career. She was part of the WNBL All-Star five for three consecutive seasons, won a WNBL and two WNBA championships, and was a member of the Australian side which won gold at the World Championships and Commonwealth games in 2006.  

Phillips also has rich Port Adelaide lineage. Her father is former club captain, eight-time premiership player and Australian Football Hall of Famer, Greg Phillips, who played 343 games in black and white between 1976 and 1993.