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Melbourne Football Club

AFLW duo earn All Australian honours

Meg Downie, Maddy Guerin, Lauren Pearce, Sarah Lampard, Shelley Scott and Eden Zanker attend the AFLW Awards night. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

MELBOURNE midfield duo Karen Paxman and Lauren Pearce have been recognised for their outstanding 2019 seasons with a place in the AFLW All Australian team.

The star-studded side was announced on Tuesday night, with 21 of the competitions finest being acknowledged for their work throughout the year.

Paxman was a dominant onballer for the Demons all season, averaging an impressive 21 disposals per game.

The 30-year-old thrived in her leadership role at Melbourne, leading by example both on and off the field.

The powerful midfielder was also regularly acknowledged by the coaches throughout the season, coming fifth in the AFL Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year Award with 32 votes.

While Paxman won plenty of hard ball, she was also the beneficiary of some crafty tap-work from her red and blue teammate and All Australian ruck, Pearce.

Pearce had a stellar season and was rightfully named the premier ruck of the competition.

Standing at 184cm, Pearce not only had a significant impact aerially, but also demonstrated an ability to win the ball at ground level.

The 26-year-old is an extremely nimble athlete, always offering her services around the ground and averaged 13 disposals for the year – superb numbers for someone in her position.

Pearce had a season-high 21 touches in Melbourne’s 39-point victory over Brisbane in Round 3 and earned herself the perfect 10 coaches votes for that performance.

The former basketballer has continued to develop since taking up football and thoroughly deserved the All Australian honour.

Both Pearce and Paxman are also expected to feature heavily in the count for Melbourne’s Best and Fairest Award which will be presented on Saturday night.