The pathway to a football career didn’t come easy for West Coast Eagles senior coach Daisy Pearce, challenged even more-so growing up in a small country town.

The Eagles AFLW team toured the South West this weekend for their 2024 Community Camp, and Pearce said it will have a big impact for aspiring young footballers.

“I grew up in the country myself, it can feel like you’re a fair way away from the big smoke,” Pearce said.

“It may feel like the opportunities aren’t within reach, but just to have a team like this come down and make that connection could be all it takes to inspire the next kid and show them that it’s possible.

“Hopefully we will have that effect today and will see the next crop of talent coming through in the near future.”

School visit at Geographe Primary School in Busselton.

The three-day Community Camp included a number of school visits, an open training session for fans to attend and a Super Clinic for kids, and Pearce said the team enjoyed the change of scenery.

“The players were really excited to get away and spend some quality time together,” Pearce said.

“We got a good training session in today in a different environment which is refreshing, but the added element of having so many families come down, the players really love that, it adds a real atmosphere to training.”

Star midfielder and Margaret River local Ella Roberts has had an impressive football journey so far, and Pearce praises the drive and determination of the 19-year-old.

“The thing with Ella is that she just loves helping out her teammates, and she’s such a competitor,” Pearce said.

“As we get to the more match-style drills you see her strengths really come to the floor.

Ella Roberts

“She’s improving and developing like every player, with someone that talented who takes so much in her stride, you really can forget how young she is.

“But just like every player on our list, our expectation of Ella is that she turns up and wants to work and improve and enjoy playing her footy and we’re really seeing that.”

The AFLW players recently began their official pre-season, and Pearce said she’s pleased with what she’s seen from the team so far.

“We’ve seen huge improvements and are building every week,” Pearce said.

Open Training Session at Dunsborough Playing Fields

“There are more and more players who aren’t just out there to train, they’re out there training to play and to win,” Pearce said.

“It’s been building nicely, and not just the four weeks we’ve had of pre-season, we’re really lucky that in mid-January we were putting on optional sessions and had a big bulk of our squad coming in with that appetite to want to train and want to work.

“The players are realistic about where they’re at and what our history has been up to this point, but all it takes now is hard work and the want to really buy in and do it together, which will see us get more competitive on-field.

“As a coach, I couldn’t have asked for much more in that space, in terms of their attitude and their hunger to want to do that.”