Crossing from one code to another is a daunting enough task by itself, but to not only do so but in one year pull off the most successful individual season ever seen in top-level Australian rules football is nothing short of remarkable.
Adelaide Crows gun Erin Phillips casually crossed over to footy from the WNBA this season and pulled off a feat no one – man, woman, or anything in between – has ever been able to do.
In one season, the midfielder scored a premiership medallion, a Grand Final MVP award, and AFL Players’ Association MVP award, an All-Australian selection, and the league Best & Fairest trophy.
Phillips was awarded the inaugural AFLW Best & Fairest – the equivalent of the Brownlow Medal – last night at the first-ever AFLW awards ceremony.
The Crows co-captain polled 14 votes, easily eclipsing nearest rivals Ellie Blackburn of the Western Bulldogs and Karen Paxman of Melbourne who finished on 10.
In accepting the game’s highest individual honour last night, Phillips thanked her wife, Tracy, who shouldered the lion’s share of the load of caring for the couple’s four-and-a-half month old twins while Phillips prepared to tackle the historic first AFLW season.
“Every bit of this is owed to you. I love you and thank you so much.”
And if you were wondering how cute the pair – who married in the US – are, the answer is about 100 cute.
Before the AFLW came along, no player in the AFL had ever won both the league best and fairest (Brownlow for the men) and the Grand Final MVP (Norm Smith Medal) in the same year. Only 6 players have managed to win both in their entire careers.
It took Erin Bloody Phillips one single year to tick off almost every conceivable individual honour available.
Hell, she even casually managed to snag Goal of the Year honours as well.
So after all that, you’d be forgiven for taking a little bit of time off. Put the feet up. Run yourself a Radox bath.
For Phillips? Nah.
She, along with the rest of her family of superhumans, will be heading back to the US shortly to prepare for the upcoming WNBA season which begins in May. Phillips will be suiting up for the Dallas Wings.
Just quietly, she’s already got 2 WNBA titles under her belt, with two different teams no less. She also has an Olympic silver medal with the Opals. And she’s gunning to go to a third games in 2020.
Erin Phillips is not of this earth, I tell you.
Photos: Michael Dodge, Michael Wilson, AFL Media/Getty.