IF DAISY Pearce’s return to footy wasn’t miraculous enough already, it certainly is now.
When the two time Best and Fairest winner runs onto Casey Fields in just under three weeks – for the first time since giving birth to twins – she will be doing so as captain.
Pearce learnt the news at Melbourne’s team photo shoot on Monday night and said this was the furthest thing from her mind a mere 12 months prior.
“I felt so far from footy or anything that I wouldn’t have imagined getting back here, but it’s always been in the back of my mind and to be here – I’m very honoured,” she told Melbourne Media.
The 31-year-old was a popular choice to lead the group this season and was incredibly humbled by the announcement.
“I love this club and this team as much as anyone,” Pearce said.
“To have this team choose me as their captain is a huge honour and something I’m very proud of, particularly because of where I’ve come from.
“Not just the work I’ve had to do to get back but the leadership and help I’ve had along the way from all my teammates, so for them to vote me as captain kind of makes me feel like all of that has been OK.
“The sessions I’ve missed, or when I’ve not been able to complete the full session for whatever reason, it just gives me a lot of confidence that that’s alright.”
While it’s a big ask for Pearce to step straight back in as captain after a year on the sidelines, she isn’t overawed by the responsibility.
“There are so many other people in the team that can lead at different times, I don’t feel like the pressure’s all on me suddenly to be everything from a leadership sense,” she said.
“Whether I was named captain or not I probably would’ve had the same approach to the way I go about things on gameday, so I don’t feel like it adds any extra pressure.
“It probably gives me a little bit of confidence that everyone’s happy with where I’m at and I look forward to getting back out there.”
Pearce has had an incredible off-season getting her body back into shape and is officially ready to make her return to the field in a practice match this weekend.
“I’ll have a run against the Pies,” she said.
“I played full minutes in an intra-club [match] we had, so I had the Geelong game off, but this will be my first actual hit-out against opposition.
“This is why we play, so I can’t wait – can’t wait to get out there and it should be a good steppingstone hopefully into Round 1 in a fortnight after that.”
The Demons’ clash with Collingwood will take place at Olympic Park this Saturday from 10am.