Melbourne season guide: All you need to know

Club: Melbourne

Coach: Mick Stinear

2020 captain: Daisy Pearce

2020 best and fairest: Shelley Scott

2020 in a nutshell: The Dees would have been thrilled to qualify for their first finals series in 2020, albeit under strange circumstances. They finished the abridged home and away season with four wins and two losses, one a poor performance against new side St Kilda. Wins over eventual finalists North Melbourne and Collingwood were big ticks, but most of the action came during the trade period. Saying they were rebuilding on the run, the Demons traded six players out, including Elise O'Dea, Bianca Jakobsson and Harriet Cordner.

AFLW Match Highlights: Collingwood v Melbourne

06:36 Feb 28. 2020. 7:30 PM

The Magpies and Demons clash in Round 4 of the AFLW

New players: Alyssa Bannan, Eliza McNamara, Maggie Caris, Megan Fitzsimon, Mietta Kendall, Isabella Simmons (draft), Lauren Magee (rookie)

YOUR CLUB'S DRAFT All you need to know about the 57 new faces

Notable departures: Elise O'Dea and Maddy Guerin (Carlton), Katherine Smith (GWS), Bianca Jakobsson (St Kilda), Aliesha Newman (Collingwood), Harriet Cordner (Richmond)

Inactive players: Nil

2021 opponents: Adelaide (h), GWS (a), St Kilda (h), Brisbane (a), Carlton (a), Richmond (h), North Melbourne (a), Western Bulldogs (h), Collingwood (a)

2021 FIXTURE Blues, Magpies return to kick off new-look season

Circle it: Round five will see Melbourne come up against former co-captain and new Blue Elise O'Dea for the first time. These two sides have also had intriguing battles over the past few years.  

O-Happy-Dea, Elise becomes a Blue

00:52 Aug 6. 2020. 5:11 PM

Elise O'Dea joins Carlton in huge loss for Melbourne

Player to watch: Midfielder/forward Lily Mithen was poised for a breakout season in 2020 before an ill-timed ankle injury held her back until round five. She's been in strong form on the track and is ready to spend more time in the engine room in 2021.

Best Rising Star chance: Alyssa Bannan

2021 prediction: Given their turbulent off-season, it'd be surprising to see Melbourne in the top three ladder spots come season's end. Saying that, the Demons still have a highly talented core of senior players, and it's difficult to see Daisy Pearce, Karen Paxman, Lauren Pearce, Tegan Cunningham, Libby Birch and Meg Downie allowing a significant slide down the ladder. Finals are definitely not out of the equation.