THREE-TIME All-Australian Erin Phillips has been named Port Adelaide’s inaugural AFLW captain.
Ange Foley has been elected vice-captain, while Hannah Dunn, Gemma Houghton and Justine Mules round out the leadership group.
The leadership group was determined through a playing-group vote, with the five players selected shown resounding support from their team.
“It is a huge honour to be named captain of Port Adelaide,” Phillips said.
“I feel incredibly privileged to be trusted to lead this amazing group of women, both on and off the field this season.”
Carrying on her family’s legacy, Phillips’s father Greg is a former Port Adelaide captain and Australian Football Hall of Famer, who played 343 games in black and white between 1976 and 1993.
“My dad always said to me the only thing better than playing for this club is being captain of this club and, he was right,” Phillips said.
“Telling him the news that I had been named captain was a very special and emotional moment for both of us. I’m so excited to be following in his footsteps and can’t wait to lead the team onto the ground for the first time. It will be yet another special moment for this group and for Port Adelaide.”
An experienced leader, Phillips spent four years as co-captain of the Adelaide Crows, during which time she led her side to two AFLW premierships.
Her Port captaincy is the latest addition to a long list of football accolades, including two league best and fairest titles, three premierships and two grand final best on ground medals.
Vice-captain Foley is no stranger to being Phillips’ right-hand woman, serving as part of Adelaide’s leadership group from 2017 to 2021, including a two-year stint as co-vice-captain.
Foley was elevated to acting captain in the 2019 AFLW grand final, with her genuine enthusiasm and teaching experience making her a respected teammate and natural leader.
Defender Dunn spent the last two seasons as skipper of the Gold Coast SUNS, while Houghton and Mules will step into leadership roles in an official capacity for the first time.
Port Adelaide’s head of AFLW Juliet Haslam congratulated the quintet on the appointment.
“To have Erin leading our group in our inaugural season is very special and we know she will do an exceptional job as our captain,” Haslam said.
“She embodies everything that this club is about and is a complete professional and role model to everyone.
“Despite currently returning from injury, Erin has already shown her strong leadership capabilities throughout pre-season and we can’t wait to welcome her back to full training. Most importantly, Erin is a good person and will help us to maintain the fantastic culture we have established in this new team.
“We are very excited to have Ange as our vice-captain, who has been an absolute positive force among our group over the last couple of months.
“And, to top it off, we welcome Gemma, Hannah and Justine into the leadership group, who are excellent players and people, and we trust they will do us proud.”