Melbourne Demons Wish to Add AFLW Glory to AFL Flag
Melbourne breaks the drought AFL the post of prime minister in 2021 inspired the Demons AFLW side to follow suit, and the addition of star striker Tayla Harris could prove to be the last piece of the puzzle.
In a poll of the 14 AFLW captains, Melbourne (seven votes) was ranked as the team most likely to reach this year’s Grand Final, with defending champions Brisbane (five) coming in second.
Collingwood and Adelaide each received one vote, while North Melbourne and Fremantle are widely touted by pundits to be in the running as well.
The Demons broke their 57-year drought in the AFL in 2021 by beating the Western Bulldogs in the grand final in Perth.
Melbourne’s AFLW team are yet to win a flag, despite strong teams that have been around since the competition began in 2017.
The Demons lost last year’s prelims to Adelaide by 18 points, and they’re desperate to see it through this season.
Captain Daisy Pearce said watching the men’s team win the AFL flag last year served as inspiration.
“We were so proud of the boys. Their success and the way they have conducted their season has inspired us a lot, ”said Pearce.
“And we can find similarities in their journey up to this point. We’ve had similar challenges.
“And then when you see your own brethren in a way going out and making real progress in some area and then achieving ultimate success, it makes us believe that we are able to do it.
“Having him there in your own club, it creates a feeling of belief, but it also makes us very aware of the amount of work that has been required.”
The arrival of former Carlton star Harris is expected to play a big part in the Melbourne PM’s push.
Harris struggled with the Blues last year, scoring just four goals in eight games.
But the two-time All-Australian is determined to get back to his best this year, and her presence up front has the potential to make Melbourne the most formidable team in the AFLW.
“I’m super motivated. Tay has been great for our group,” said Pearce.
“We’ve missed that big, contested presence over the past two years, and it definitely is.”
Pearce has fully recovered from the knee surgery she had last year and will be fit and fired in Saturday’s season opener against the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval.