Twice voted as the AFLW’s best captain and the first captain of the AFLW All-Australian team, Pearce is one of the game’s stars and her return is anticipated as the depth of talent in the competition continues to build.

Pearce will be supported in the role by Karen Paxman, who has been named vice-captain for 2020. Paxman has been All-Australian in each year of the AFLW, finishing runner-up behind Adelaide’s Erin Phillips as the AFLW’s most valuable player in 2017.

Melbourne’s AFLW coach Mick Stinear said the Demons were lucky to have two natural leaders in their team.

“Daisy has, and continues to, inspire this group, and that’s both players and staff who are involved in the program,” Stinear 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.”

Melbourne opted to limit the leadership group to just two players in 2020. They finished third in 2017 and 2018 before being fourth in the stronger conference in 2019.

AFLW practice matches

Saturday January 25

10am Collingwood v Melbourne, Holden Centre; 10:30am Western Bulldogs v Geelong, VU Whitten Oval; 11am Carlton v North Melbourne, Ikon Park; 12pm Gold Coast v St Kilda, Southport; 4pm Fremantle v Adelaide, Mandurah

Sunday 26 January

9am GWS v Brisbane Lions, Tom Wills Oval; 1pm Richmond v West Coast, Swinburne Centre

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