MELBOURNE has a strong representation in the 2020 AFL Women’s All-Australian Squad, with four Demons named in the extended line-up.
Karen Paxman, Libby Birch, Daisy Pearce and Kate Hore have all been recognised in the 40-player squad, which celebrates the best individual performances in each position of the competition.
The final team of 21 players, which includes a captain and vice-captain, is set to be announced on Monday 27 April at 6pm AEST.
All four players had very impressive seasons in 2020, consistently among the red and blue’s best performers each week.
Paxman was a standout, finishing with an average of 21 disposals and an efficiency of 71 percent.
The three-time All-Australian continued her dominance in the middle, providing plenty of run, composure and opportunity for the Demons.
She was named in the womens.afl Team of the Year late last month, and will be looking to be among one of the first players to ever receive a fourth All-Australian selection.
Equally as impressive in her efforts was Birch, who starred in her first season for Melbourne.
The former Bulldog was the Demons’ best lockdown defender and averaged 12 disposals in her new colours.
Birch was also named in the womens.afl Team of the Year, and after receiving an All-Australian squad nomination in 2018, will be looking to receive her first nod.
Pearce, on the other hand, will be aiming for her first selection since returning to the game.
The Melbourne captain, who missed the 2019 season with the arrival of her twins, was very much a welcomed addition to the Demons’ backline in 2020.
Playing predominately off half-back, she managed an average of 15 disposals at 69 percent efficiency, with her leadership continuing to shine through both on and off the field.
Pearce captained the inaugural All-Australian side in 2017 and was also recognised in the 2018 team.
While the skipper could earn her third selection, Hore will be in search of her first.
The 25-year-old was a force to be reckoned with inside 50 this season.
Hore finished with five majors for the season, including a Round 6 snap that was awarded the Coates Hire Goal of the Year, and averaged 13 disposals.
She was named on the interchange in the womens.afl Team of the Year in her third season as a Demon.
All 14 clubs were recognised in the extended squad, with Collingwood leading club representation (five players).
The panel of selectors was comprised of Nicole Livingstone (Chair, AFL), Steve Hocking (AFL), Josh Vanderloo (AFL), Kelli Underwood (Fox Footy), Sarah Black (AFL.com.au), Tim Harrington (AFLPA), Shelley Ware (media commentator) and Sharelle McMahon (media commentator).
2020 AFL Women’s All-Australian Squad
Gold Coast SUNS
North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos
West Coast Eagles