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Melbourne Football Club

AFLW leaders named for 2018

MELBOURNE has reinstated its leadership group for the 2018 AFLW season.

Daisy Pearce has again been appointed captain, while Mel Hickey and Elise O’Dea have been named to continue as vice-captains.

Coach Mick Stinear said the three players have the respect of their teammates, the ability to lead the team into their second season, and epitomise exactly what the program is all about.

“They’re the ones that live, drive and challenge our trademark values and behaviours,” Stinear told melbournefc.com.au.

“We received feedback from the playing group, and from what we observed over the pre-season, we think they’re the three best placed people to lead our group.”

Assessing each of the leaders, Stinear said Pearce’s development both on and off the field has been significant over the past 14 months.

“Daisy has taken her leadership and football to the next level, which is exactly what we want our players to do – continue to grow and get better,” he said.

The winner of the AFLW best captain award and Melbourne best and fairest award, Pearce averaged mid-20s for possessions throughout the 2017 season.

Stinear was equally impressed with the All-Australian selected Hickey, who has continued to evolve her football this pre-season.

“She started as a defender and is now looking at being in our starting midfield and having a real impact in our second season,” he said.

“Her leadership and personal development has been outstanding over recent months.”

On the back of a successful 2017, being named All-Australian and finishing third in Melbourne’s best and fairest, O’Dea has also progressed in the lead up to Round 1.

“She’s taken her conditioning and strength to a whole new level as well,” he said.

“The three of them are just really well placed to lead our side into our second season; they complement each other really well and they’ve got the full support of their peers.”

Melbourne’s 2018 AFLW campaign will commence on Saturday, February 3rd at 5.05pm, hosting the GWS Giants at Casey Fields.