Junior Clubs: St Peters College (SA)
Recruited From: North Adelaide (SA)/Adelaide
Brownlow Votes: 1
Community Ambassador: Penrith
One of the GIANTS’ three inaugural co-captains, Canberra-born Phil Davis was one of the first un-contracted players to join the club after being drafted to the Adelaide Crows. The key defender was picked at selection 10 in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft from North Adelaide, after he moved from the ACT to South Australia with his family at the age of 14. Playing in the number 1 guernsey, Davis was awarded the GIANTS Best Defender Award at the 2012 Kevin Sheedy Medal. Davis will again lead the GIANTS in 2017 for the sixth consecutive season.
Apart from one minor hamstring issue mid-year, the co-captain had his best season in the AFL, playing 21 games in defence. Davis took on the opposition’s best big forward each week and was rarely beaten and would have been in All-Australian contention in the first half of the year. Was one of the few backmen to get the better of Swans star Lance Franklin, keeping him goalless in the GIANTS’ qualifying final win at ANZ Stadium. A fantastic leader, Davis should be coming into his prime and is a vital part of the push towards a premiership.
It was another season of frustration for Davis due to two significant injuries that ruined the second half of the year. The co-captain was in terrific form until an ankle injury against Collingwood in round 11 forced him to miss the next five games. Returned in round 18, but went down with a severe hamstring strain in round 20 and missed the rest of the season after having surgery. The key defender needs to play 20-plus games if the GIANTS are any chance of playing finals.
With Heath Shaw and Josh Hunt recruited to help out in defence after a tough couple of years for the co-captain, Davis had high hopes for 2014. It started well, getting the better of Sydney star Lance Franklin in round one, but a ruptured kidney suffered in that game ruined his season and jeopardised his career. Sidelined for three months, he returned in round 13 and featured in 10 of the final 11 matches. Surely the key defender is due some luck this season.
The only GIANT to play every game in 2012, Davis was struck down by a back injury last season, forcing him to sit out nine games in the middle of the year. It naturally affected his form and the 23-year-old will be hoping to get back to his best this year. He will benefit greatly from the defensive reinforcements that have come on board during the off-season.
Davis was the first uncontracted player to join GWS and it proved a wise recruiting decision. The key defender was the only GIANT to appear in all 22 games in year one. It was a steep learning curve for Davis, who was asked to defend some of the AFL's best forwards week after week. But he deserved his co-captaincy in the club's first year, accepting his role with no fuss and showing improvement across the season.
The former Adelaide defender was the first uncontracted player to announce he was joining the GIANTS and has relished his move to Sydney. At 197cm, Davis possesses terrific size and also has leadership qualities. Sure to be a defensive mainstay for many years to come.
2008 NAB AFL Draft 1st round selection (Adelaide) No.10 overall; 2011 uncontracted player selection (GWS GIANTS)
Adelaide (2010-11: 18 games, 1 goal)
NAB AFL Rising Star nominee 2011
Club Captain 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Best Defender 2012