Key defender and key leader, Phil Davis occupies a number of important roles for both the GWS Giants and the game itself.
Spending the first 14 years of his life in Canberra and attending Marist College, Davis moved with his family to Adelaide where he played his football with North Adelaide and St Peter’s College. Representing SA in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, he was recruited by the Adelaide Crows with pick 10 in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft. Davis was awarded a NAB Rising Star Nomination in 2010 before becoming the first uncontracted player signing for the GWS Giants ahead of their inaugural season in 2012. Named a founding Co-Captain at just 21 years of age, Davis has been a key figurehead in the establishment of the AFL’s 18th club, in the process re-establishing his links to the nation’s capital with the GIANTS playing several home games there each year.
Sixth in the club’s Best and Fairest in its first season, Davis had his 2013 campaign marred by a back injury that saw him miss nine games mid-season. His career then faced further hurdles in 2014 with Davis suffering a ruptured kidney, hospitalising and sidelining the key defender for three months. Remarkably, he returned to play 10 games in the season. With the Giants climb up the ladder gaining momentum with each year, Davis has locked horns with and taken the honours against many of the league’s best forwards. This peaked in 2017 with Davis claiming third in the club’s Best and Fairest and being entrenched in the discussion around the All-Australian defensive positions. The elite interceptor was a key part of the Giants push to it’s maiden Grand Final appearance in 2019.
Off-field, Davis is a regular across the game’s media platforms. He is a regular contributor on Seven’s AFL broadcasts and as part of ABC Grandstand’s AFL coverage. Graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney in 2019, Davis has a diverse range of interests off-field. He has formed a strong relationships with global car brand Kia as an ambassador and is also one of adidas’ key AFL athletes.
Once you know more about people, you have more chance to get the best out of them. That’s what leadership is: you’re galvanising a group, putting them on the same page so you can head in the one direction, and are maximising everyone’s ability and hence, the ability of the team as a collective.