AFLW All-Australian team revealed, new wave dominates

UNDERRATED no longer. 

Champion Melbourne midfielder Karen Paxman is this year's Toyota AFLW All-Australian captain, capping her fourth selection in as many seasons in the team of the year.

>> WATCH THE W AWARDS FROM 7pm AEST ON TUESDAY ON WOMENS.AFL, AFL WOMEN'S APP, AFL.COM.AU, AND THE AFL LIVE OFFICIAL APP

The 31-year-old Demon and North Melbourne skipper Emma Kearney – the 2018 competition best and fairest – are the only players to achieve that feat, with the Kangaroo named as the squad's vice-captain.

>> See the full Toyota AFLW All-Australian team below

Paxman averaged 21.3 disposals and a career-high 4.1 tackles in another consistently excellent campaign, and her latest honour should go some way to her shaking the under-appreciated tag.

Karen Paxman with 2020 Toyota AFLW All-Australian award. Picture: AFL Photos, Michael Willson

Melbourne, North Melbourne and fellow finalist Carlton have three representatives in this year's All-Australian team, while Adelaide, Collingwood and Fremantle have two each.

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Joining Paxman from the Demons were defensive recruit Libby Birch and livewire forward Kate Hore – both first-time recipients – with Jasmine Garner and Ash Riddell the other Roos selected.

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Dual Carlton club champion Maddy Prespakis, Kerryn Harrington and Tayla Harris made it for the Blues. 

Carlton All-Australians (L-R): Madison Prespakis, Kerryn Harrington, and Tayla Harris. Picture: AFL Photos, Michael Willson

More than half of the squad were All-Australian debutantes in a great representation of the new wave of talent taking over the competition.

They were Birch, Hore, Riddell, Crow Sarah Allan, 2017 No.1 draft pick Izzy Huntington, Magpies Jaimee Lambert and Sharni Layton, Geelong's Olivia Purcell, Saint Caitlin Greiser, Gold Coast's Kalinda Howarth and Giant Alyce Parker.

Prespakis, Parker and Purcell are all only 19 years old, while none of Birch, Allan, Greiser, Huntington, Howarth or dual All-Australian ball magnet Anne Hatchard is older than 22. 

Greiser was the sole first-year player to earn selection.

St Kilda All-Australian Caitlin Greiser with her leading goalkicker medal. Picture: AFL Photos, Michael Willson

It's also a significant achievement for 32-year-old Sharni Layton, who won the No.1 ruck mantle in just her second AFLW season, after previously being one of Australia's best netballers.

The 21-player squad was whittled down from the 40 who were named at the start of April.

The notable omissions included Richmond's Monique Conti, Eagle Dana Hooker, Adelaide's Ebony Marinoff, Demon Daisy Pearce, Collingwood's Bri Davey, Roo Jenna Bruton, Bulldog Ellie Blackburn and Fremantle's Ebony Antonio. 

AFL Head of Women's Football Nicole Livingstone congratulated everyone who made the squad of 40, particularly the final 21.

"Selecting both the squad and team was a difficult process and there will, of course, be players unlucky not to be included," Livingstone said.

"The final team represents the best players of another incredible season and will be an achievement long cherished by the players selected."

The 2020 AFLW All-Australian selection panel comprised the AFL's Livingstone, Steve Hocking and Josh Vanderloo, womens.afl's Sarah Black, Fox Footy's Kelli Underwood, AFLPA's Tim Harrington and media commentators Shelley Ware and Sharelle McMahon.

The W Awards will be held on Tuesday from 7pm AEST and broadcast on womens.afl, the AFLW app, AFL.com.au, the AFL Live Official App, Fox Footy and Kayo.

The 2020 Toyota AFL Women's All-Australian Team

BACK: Sarah Allan (Adelaide Crows), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane Lions) 
HALF BACKS: Kerryn Harrington (Carlton), Libby Birch (Melbourne), Isabel Huntington (Western Bulldogs)
CENTRES: Emma Kearney (Vice Captain, Kangaroos), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Jaimee Lambert (Collingwood)
HALF FORWARDS: Olivia Purcell (Geelong Cats), Gemma Houghton (Fremantle), Jasmine Garner (Kangaroos)
FORWARDS: Caitlin Greiser (St Kilda), Kate Hore (Melbourne)
FOLLOWERS: Sharni Layton (Collingwood), Karen Paxman (Captain, Melbourne), Madison Prespakis (Carlton)
INTERCHANGE: Kalinda Howarth (Gold Coast SUNS), Alyce Parker (GWS GIANTS), Tayla Harris (Carlton), Ash Riddell (Kangaroos), Anne Hatchard (Adelaide Crows)