After a private phone call, a close friend of Tayla Harris reveals a contract twist.
Daisy Pearce, Melbourne's captain, has launched a passionate defense of Tayla Harris, declaring that money is not the "driving factor" for the high-profile AFLW forward.
The high-marking and ferocious kicking Harris is on the lookout for a third AFLW club after Carlton balked at a demand for a new lucrative contract extension.
Although the majority of the league's 14 clubs have already ruled out pursuing Harris, Melbourne remains interested in acquiring her during the trade period.
If Harris does join the Demons, it will serve as a sort of homecoming for the 24-year-old.
Harris met Pearce while she was still a teenager in Melbourne during women's exhibition matches prior to the AFLW's inception.
They have remained close since, and Pearce understands Harris' predicament, adding that she would love to see her at the Demons.
Pearce told SEN, "I believe her football value is enormous."
Daisy Pearce (second from right) and Tayla Harris (left) have been in constant contact throughout the former's contract negotiations.
“She has five seasons of AFLW experience and is a three-time All Australian.
She didn't have her best season, and Tayla would probably admit as much, but I'm sure there are plenty of people in football and life who didn't have their best year last year.
I'd be quite excited to play alongside her not only because of the player she is, but also because of the phase of her life she is entering.
I check in with Tayla every now and then and call her, as we did in the last couple of weeks as she dealt with this, and then again when Melbourne was mentioned (as a potential destination).
“In every interaction I've had with Tayla and conversation I've had with her, I've seen no indication that money is her primary motivator; she simply wants to get her football back to where it was and where it can be.”
Harris' management has denied claims that they demanded a $150,000 re-signing bonus from Carlton.
Harris earned nearly $120,000 for the 2021 season, with a salary cap of around $28,000 and a marketing salary in the $80,000 range.
“I believe the most significant aspect of this at the moment is that it has been blown out of proportion in terms of context,” Saundry told Kiis FM two weeks ago.
“It has been exaggerated in terms of the figures reported in the media. The figures are nowhere close to what they were (supposed to be).”
Pearce is expected to return to Melbourne next season despite missing last season's finals series due to a serious knee injury.
Pearce, 33, and the mother of young twins, admits that playing in the AFLW is a "all-family affair."
“It's an exciting team (in Melbourne), and we feel as though we came close last year... I kind of wish I could stay a little longer,” Pearce stated.