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AFLW: Erin's rebuild

It’s amazing that my kids get to experience two countries, two sports, and be around two incredible groups of women
Erin Phillips

A dual Olympian, WNBA champion, inaugural AFLW best and fairest and mother of twins - there isn’t much Erin Phillips cannot do.

For years, the Premiership captain has divided her life between two elite sports in two different continents, while raising her two-year-old twins Blake and Brooklyn with wife Tracy.

She set the benchmark for women’s football in 2017, the same year she announced her retirement from the WNBA and signed on as assistant coach with the Dallas Wings.

As challenging as her schedule has been, the 33-year-old said the past three years had not only been an incredible ride for her and Tracey, but an invaluable experience for their kids.

There’s been no shortage of female role models for their youngsters – just in case the careers of Erin and Tracy weren’t enough.

“It’s amazing for my kids that while they’re still young enough they get to experience two countries, two sports, and be around two incredible groups of women,” she said.

“I love bringing them out to my Crows family and then also having them around the girls in Dallas who are world-class athletes who play basketball as a full-time profession.

“You can’t replicate an experience quite like it.”

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During the 2018 off-season, Phillips signed on for her third year as assistant coach with Dallas.

“I’ve been lucky to work in such a fantastic franchise as Dallas and coaching is something I’d love to follow whether in football or basketball, so when the opportunity came up for me to continue coaching I jumped at it,” she said.

“Football and basketball are just completely different sports and it’s nice to switch off from footy when I’m coaching basketball and vice versa.”

When she wasn’t coaching or being a mum, Erin was in the gym, rebuilding her body in order to avoid the injury challenges she experienced in 2018.

She spent eight weeks with the Michael Johnson Performance centre in McKinney, Texas – her home away from home in the US – training with the strength and conditioning team.

“The trainers at the centre have worked with a range of athletes like NFL footballers and major league baseball players so had fresh ideas on how to help me avoid any soft tissue injuries like I’ve experienced in the past,” she said.

“They went back to the basics and essentially re-taught me how to run and help me develop the dynamic and range of motion I use to kick.”

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Phillips returned to Adelaide in November on her own, before Tracy and the kids joined her at the beginning of this year.

“Obviously it’s fantastic what I get to do in two countries with two fantastic franchises, but I do love coming home to Adelaide,” she said.

“It’s great to be back with my family and I love bringing the kids and Tracy back.”

Just three days out from Adelaide’s trial match with Fremantle in Darwin on Saturday, Erin said she is feeling stronger than ever.

“Everything I’ve done in the off-season has really set me up for 2019 and it’s been nice to not have any [physical] issues entering the season - I feel great.”

“The girls have been putting in the hard work over the past few months and everyone’s looking great.”

The trial match, which starts at 9pm ACDT, will be live streamed on YouTube thanks to AFLNT.