MELBOURNE’S AFLW side will be led by a familiar face this year, with the club appointing Daisy Pearce as captain for the 2020 season.
A pioneer of women’s football and a star of the league, Pearce will lead the Demons for the third time, having captained the team in the first two seasons of the competition.
The midfielder, who makes her return to the club after missing last season due to the birth of her twins, will be supported by Karen Paxman as vice-captain.
The two highly respected players were recognised by their coaches and teammates, with their experience and elite behaviours a standout among the group.
Senior coach Mick Stinear said the club was honoured to have such naturally born leaders on board for 2020.
“Daisy has, and continues to, inspire this group, and that’s both players and staff who are involved in the program,” he told Melbourne Media.
“That’s by the way she acts on and off the field, but we talk about the ‘Melbourne person’ being hardworking, humble, competitive and resilient and she embodies those qualities.
“With her knowledge of our game plan, and her ability to instruct, support and give feedback on and off the field, she’s just the ideal person to lead this group.”
After being elevated to a vice-captain position last season, Paxman will only look to further develop her strong leadership qualities in 2020.
“Paxy (Paxman) just continues to grow in this program and is committed to being the best she can be for the team,” Stinear said.
“No one has worked harder than her on improving her game; she’s determined to see this team succeed and play her role.
“She’ll complement Daisy really well, too. She’s not one to talk constantly, so when she does speak up, the group listens.”
Opting for only a two-person leadership group, the Demons will take a slightly different approach to years gone by.
But it’s one Stinear is confident will benefit all members of the team.
“We’re blessed to have a lot of quality leaders at our club and the reason we’ve gone for a concise leadership group is because we feel these two best represent our team,” he said.
“We want to encourage our other leaders to continue to drive and challenge each other, to improve and raise the standard of our team throughout the season.”
Melbourne opens its 2020 campaign against North Melbourne on Saturday 8 February at Casey Fields.