MELBOURNE has appointed co-captains for the 2019 NAB AFL Women's season.
Midfielder Elise O'Dea and forward Shelley Scott will share the duties to replace Daisy Pearce, who is expecting twins in March.
The pair are backed by vice-captains, midfielder Karen Paxman and defender Sarah Lampard.
The dual leadership roles were announced to the players at the final training session of the year on Tuesday night.
Super-consistent O'Dea was All Australian in each of the AFLW's first two seasons and played only a couple of VFLW games during winter to be fresh for the new challenge.
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And Scott, who handed over dairy farming duties to her family to move to the city, didn't miss a game last season as Melbourne's most versatile performer.
Melbourne coach Mick Stinear said the four players in the leadership group complement each other.
"They connect with the playing group in different ways and they cover off on forwards, mids and backs. So it's a good balance," he said.
Stinear said the pre-Christmas training block at Gosch's Paddock and the club's AAMI Park headquarters was important to integrate 10 new players.
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"It does seem a lot, but two of those were traded in, two were rookies and we've been working with them since early in the year. And we identified Casey Sherriff a while ago and she has been working with the Casey Demons and we were able to bring her in as a replacement for Daisy," he said.
"Then we drafted in five and knowing the type of people they are, we expected that they would fit straight in. It's great how connected our group is and how driven they are to succeed.
"Most of our girls have a good understanding of the fitness required and a lot of them are coming into their third season and have been building over a long period.
"It has been more a time to embed our game style and the fundamentals that drive it. And getting to the girls to value the simple things that make a big difference."
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Melbourne will have a healthy list when Adelaide premiership defender Talia Radan, who had shoulder surgery, joins full training in early January in the build-up to a practice match against new team North Melbourne at Casey Fields on January 19.
Players, coaches and support staff had a weekend camp at Sorrento in early December, training at Peninsula Grammar, hitting the beach and attending meetings.
"The growth we saw from some players off the back of the camp (was noticeable) – their level of engagement, they had a lot more energy and were a lot more confident in the coaches, staff and their teammates," the coach said.
"It's part of the program that can't be overlooked … building relationships and spending time away from the club."