MELBOURNE has celebrated the achievements of its players at the 2019 AFLW Best and Fairest on Saturday night.
The awards ceremony took place at the Ormond Collective, with six trophies handed out during the proceedings.
Take a look at all the winners below.
Trademark Player – Lily Mithen
Lily Mithen may have been voted as the most annoying teammate by her peers, but she has taken out the honour of Melbourne’s Trademark Player.
The hard-at-it midfielder is a tremendous ambassador for the club, demonstrating all of Melbourne’s values when she pulls on the red and blue guernsey.
Despite standing at just 159cm, Mithen always puts her head over the ball and never takes a backwards step on the field.
The 21-year-old is equally as inspiring off the field, consistently encouraging her teammates and leading by example with high training standards.
Mithen is an incredibly bubbly character and is a thoroughly deserving winner of the award.
Best Forward – Tegan Cunningham
In just her second year of football, Tegan Cunningham seriously impressed inside 50 to be named Best Forward at the club.
At 186cm, Cunningham provided a tall target up forward and became one of the best contested markers in the league.
She booted a team-high eight goals for the season and provided one of the highlights of the year with her match-winner against the Western Bulldogs in Round 6.
The former basketballer has improved rapidly since joining the club last season and began to use her aerial prowess to bring the small forwards into the game.
At 31 years of age, Cunningham is in the prime of her career and will be one to watch in 2020.
Best Midfielder – Karen Paxman
Karen Paxman starred in the midfield all season to pip Elise O’Dea and Lily Mithen for the Best Midfielder award.
The 30-year-old averaged 21 disposals across the seven-game season and was a constant performer for her side.
Paxman’s gut running and power in the centre of the ground was a feature of her game, allowing her to shake opposition tags and continue to impact the game.
The classy onballer connected well with the forwards and was a major factor in Melbourne’s four wins this season.
Best Defender – Meg Downie
Meg Downie was Melbourne’s most reliable defender for the 2019 season, playing an underrated role down back.
Throughout the seven-game season, Downie demonstrated a great ability to get to contests and impact them both in the air and at ground level.
The 30-year-old regularly defeated her direct opponent and worked well in defence with the likes of Harriet Cordner and Chantel Emonson.
Downie was a major factor in the club’s four victories during the season, helping restrict the oppositions scores.
She is a much-loved character among the group and a worthy recipient of the Best Defender award.
Best and Fairest Runner up – Lauren Pearce
Lauren Pearce took her game to another level this season, becoming the premier ruck in the competition.
Her brilliant work didn’t go unnoticed, receiving recognition with the ruck spot in the 2019 AFLW All Australian team.
Pearce’s tap work was outstanding this year, feeding her midfielders at the stoppages, while her efforts around the ground were equally as impressive, averaging 13 disposals per game which is an impressive feat for the 184cm tall.
At 26 years of age, the former basketballer has continuously improved since being drafted to Melbourne in 2016 and will only get better as she develops her craft in the coming years.
Pearce thoroughly deserved her placing in the Best and Fairest after becoming one of the biggest stars in the competition this season.
Best and Fairest – Karen Paxman
Karen Paxman has been crowned Melbourne’s Best and Fairest player of 2019 after a stunning individual season.
The midfielder has been a star for the Demons since joining the club as a priority selection for the inaugural AFLW season and took her game to another level this year.
Paxman’s dominance was recognised by the competition as she was named on the wing of the All Australian side on Tuesday night.
She also received 32 votes to come fifth in the AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award – an outstanding effort from the 30-year-old.
Paxman now becomes the second player to hold the trophy for the club after Daisy Pearce claimed the award in both 2017 and 2018.