MELBOURNE captain Kate Hore and vice-captain Tyla Hanks have tied for the 2023 Daisy Pearce Trophy. 

The Demon duo, who  each finished the count with 64 votes at the club’s Best and Fairest celebration on Saturday night, with Hore going back-to-back having won the award in 2022. 

It is just the second time in the club’s history that two AFLW players have tied for the honours; Hanks and the ever-consistent Paxy Paxman sharing recognition in 2021. 

For Hore, it adds to an outstanding season in the red and blue and her first as captain.  

Senior Coach Mick Stinear praised Hore’s ability to rise to the pressure of her new role and continue to perform at the highest level. 

“Kate elevated her game to another level this season, increasing her speed and power in the off-season and successfully transferring that into on-field performance,” Stinear said. 

“Her contested game, both in the air and on the ground, is one of the best in the competition and when you combine her scoring power with her impact with the midfield, it makes her a truly unique player in AFLW. 

“She successfully took her game to another level while taking to the captaincy role with great authenticity. Kate is an ultimate professional in her approach, which leads to consistent and reliable performance for the team.” 

The dangerous forward was named the league’s leading goal scorer with 20 majors across the home-and-away season. Her tireless work rate also saw her average 17 disposals, four tackles and four marks a game. 

Hore earned a third All-Australian selection at last week’s W Awards, and was announced as captain of the prestigious side. She was also selected by her peers as the AFL Players’ Association best captain. 

Hanks, at only 23, joins her teammate in becoming a two-time Best and Fairest winner. 

Stinear spoke of the young star’s extraordinary progression and the impact she had both on and off field, in what was her first season as vice-captain. 

“Hanksy continues to grow as a player and leader each season and this one is no exception,” he said. 

“Tyla has an incredible balance with her contested game, defensive pressure and creativity with the ball. With her footwork, agility, footy IQ and skill, she is a joy to watch, and combined with her work rate and will to win, she is a great teammate. 

“She leads by example and does everything for the team. Tyla has embraced the opportunity and responsibility to lead as vice-captain and delivered an outstanding season on-field.” 

Hanks exceeded her previous best, averaging 21.3 disposals and winning 5.2 clearances per match. 

The midfielder won the AFLW Rising Star Award in 2021 and was named in this year’s All-Australian squad. 

Ruck Lauren Pearce finished in third place, receiving 54 votes for another impressive season in the red and blue, while the Demon Spirit Award, given to the player that best embodies the club’s values, was awarded to Lily Mithen 

Melbourne announced earlier in the night that the club’s AFLW Best and Fairest Award has been renamed the Daisy Pearce Trophy, in honour of the recently retired club legend. 

Melbourne AFLW Best and Fairest – Top 10 

= 1st – Tyla Hanks (64 points) 

= 1st – Kate Hore (64 points) 

3rd – Lauren Pearce (54 points) 

= 4th – Sinead Goldrick (52 points) 

= 4th – Olivia Purcell (52 points) 

= 6th – Eden Zanker (51 points) 

= 6th – Lily Mithen (51 points) 

= 8th – Libby Birch (48 points) 

= 9th – Blaithin Mackin (47 points) 

= 9th – Shelley Heath (47 points) 

= 11th – Eliza McNamara (46 points) 

= 11th – Tahlia Gillard (46 points)