“I see plenty of male athlete names up there and legends of Australian football. We have a legend of Australian football right in front of us. She’s an Adelaide girl and she personifies everything about women’s sport and Australian football, so I think it’d be pretty cool to have a stand named after Erin Phillips.”
The names of famous football identities adorn the eastern stands at Adelaide Oval (Gavin Wanganeen, Jack Oatey, Max Basheer, Fos Williams and Mark Riciutto) while Sir Donald Bradman and the Chappell brothers – Ian, Greg and Trevor – have segments of the members’ stands named after them. But even when the ground was redeveloped no women were recognised on the stands. The South Australian Cricket Association has since named a nearby oval and pavilion after former Australian cricket captain Karen Rolton.
Phillips received a standing ovation from fellow players at the W Awards on Tuesday night when she was declared All-Australian captain and AFLW best and fairest winner. She hobbled onto the stage to accept her accolades after suffering a career-threatening knee injury during her best afield performance in the grand final on Sunday. It was her second standing ovation in three days, having been applauded from the ground by the record crowd of 53,034 after hurting her knee.
The AFL won’t name the best and fairest winner after Phillips while she’s an active player, but her playing future is up in the air.
“I’m hoping just get it fixed ASAP and start the rehab process,” Phillips said. “Whether I’ll play again isn’t a decision I need to make right now.”
Would she be happy to have a section of the Riverbank Stand named after her?
“Yeah, sure. I mean, I haven’t even given that much thought,” said Phillips, whose father, Greg, is also a legend of South Australian football with Port Adelaide Magpies. “If that was the case it’d be really special. I’ve grown up in Adelaide, I’ve seen many games played at Adelaide Oval so if it did happen it’d be really special.”