MELBOURNE’S AFLW side has announced that Elise O’Dea and Shelley Scott will lead the club as co-captains in 2019.
The decision was revealed to the playing group before training on Tuesday afternoon and the squad couldn’t contain their excitement.
Sarah Lampard and Karen Paxman round out the leadership group and will provide tremendous support for the club’s new co-captains.
The four-girl squad has been named to help cover Daisy Pearce’s absence, as the former skipper will miss the upcoming season due to her pregnancy.
AFLW Football Operations Administrator Kim Morton was full of praise for the entire list as all players have stood up over the pre-season.
But she said O’Dea, 27, was a standout, staking her claim for the captaincy through her actions both on and off the field.
“You couldn’t find a more passionate player,” Morton told Melbourne Media.
“She is a reliable and consistent player and her teammates know she will bring only her best every time she takes the field with them.
“She has a great understanding of the game and is always clear with her messages to the team.”
O’Dea will work in tandem with Scott who has grown as a leader and is a person that her teammates continuously look up to.
“Shelley is highly respected among her peers,” Morton said.
“She is the ultimate team-first player and the hardest worker in the group.
“Everything she does is to the highest of standards and she is everything the Melbourne person stands for.
“Her teammates stand taller when they see her next to them on the field.”
The two skippers are a great reflection of the club’s culture, while Paxman and Lampard have been equally as impressive with their leadership qualities.
“Paxy has developed into a strong leader among the group and Lampard is the future of our club,” Morton said.
Paxman has been a reliable performer for the Demons over the first two seasons of the AFLW competition, placing in the club’s best and fairest in both years.
The 30-year-old has an exceptional work rate and sets the tone with her actions across half-back and through the midfield.
“She inspires her teammates to work harder and leads by example,” Morton said.
She will be well complemented by Lampard in the leadership squad, as the club has opted for a mix of youth and experience.
Lampard, 21, will be returning from an ACL injury in 2019 and is the perfect candidate for a leadership role.
“Lampe is hard working, humble and cares about all involved in our program at Melbourne,” Morton said.
“She has a great understanding of the game and provides great energy around the club, both on and off the field.”
The leadership group is well rounded and is set to drive high standards throughout the 2019 season.