PHOEBE McWilliams is excited to be back in Melbourne. 

Having previously played for Greater Western Sydney and Geelong, McWilliams is finally playing AFLW at a club close to home. 

Happy to start afresh, McWilliams is looking forward to having an entirely new surrounding as she embarks on her seventh AFLW season, noting that she already feels at home at IKON Park.

“I’m a Melbourne girl so I’ve lived here most of my life: it feels really good to be playing so close to home,” McWilliams said. 

“I’m really grateful to be at a big club like Carlton, it just feels really comfortable and nice to be here. 

“It has been nice actually to start again and have a fresh start. To meet some new people, different voices, different gym program, different training drills, it’s been really good so far.” 

McWilliams had a standout interaction with Daniel Harford that made her decision to move up the highway easy, believing fully in the vision that Harford and the Club saw for the Game Changers moving forward. 

02:15 Mins
Published on

"I want to share my experience": McWilliams on fresh start at Carlton

Phoebe McWilliams spoke to Carlton Media about her trade to Carlton and why she's excited to pull on the Navy Blue.

Published on

“The main thing that stood out to me about joining Carlton was when I met ‘Harf’,” she said.  

“He said he can still see me getting better and improving, that I hadn’t played my best football to date and that was something that really stood out to me because as an athlete, you always want to keep trying to get better and keep trying to improve. 

“Carlton said that they could help me do that and I think with this playing group and this program and the vision that ‘Harf’ has, I feel like this is where I can play my best footy.”

Things certainly look different in the AFLW landscape since McWilliams got drafted to the Giants in 2016, but she has been reunited with former teammate Jess Dal Pos – whom she once shared a house with in the year of the competition’s inception. 

Looking back to how much things have changed, McWilliams believes the League is moving in the right direction to make female footballers full-time athletes. 

“I moved to the Giants in the first season and lived in a house with six other girls and one of them was Jess Dal Pos. We were living on very little, we didn’t have jobs up there. 

“To see now the girls that are getting drafted can pretty much live off what they’re earning from football, I think it’s a great step forward but there’s a long way to go in that area. 

“If we keep making steps like we have, it won’t be long until we’re full-time professionals – I’m really stoked for the girls that will come through later on.” 

On Dal Pos, McWilliams had a moment of déjà vu when receiving a perfect inside 50 kick from her at training on Saturday, which instantly transported back to her time in Sydney.

“We had a moment on Saturday at training where she hit me lace out. She’s just a great kick, I really enjoyed playing with her,” she said.  

“She’s a great person, a good leader, she looks like she’s really enjoying her time here at Carlton: it’s good to be back playing with her.”

Happy to join a relatively young forward line group, McWilliams is happy to sit back and learn the system before imparting her years of experience among the younger group. 

02:09 Mins
Published on

Highlights | Phoebe McWilliams

Watch the highlights from new recruit Phoebe McWilliams.

Published on

“I’m not a person to just come in and input my vision and views on the program straight away, so I really want to learn how Carlton wants to play and what they expect from their forwards and I want to implement that myself. 

“Then I can add any experience or knowledge to younger forwards: I really want to share my experience with them and help them develop where I can.” 

Outside of footy, McWilliams has a background of media and communications, but has started to try her hand at coaching. 

Yet to lose a game as coach, McWilliams is hoping the coaching field is one she can break into post-footy life. 

“I was working in the Cats content team, so my background is in media and comms,” she said. 

“I’ve just started coaching. I’m coaching at a couple of schools, I haven’t lost a game yet so I don’t know if it’s me or if we just have really talented players on our list, but I’m really enjoying that and it’s something I really want to explore in the future.”