Paxman’s perceptions of the season thus far

LAST weekend, Melbourne star Karen Paxman was in the thick of the action as Melbourne kept its undefeated run intact with a win over St Kilda.

Paxman described the game as “a tough slog”, despite her side breaking out to a decisive early lead and running out 26-point victors.

“We got away well in the first quarter, I guess our aim this game was to be super strong in the contest and hunt the ball, and from there just play footy,” she said. “Their pressure increased in the second quarter onwards, which to their credit they did really well in that area.

“I think we succumbed to a bit of pressure there in terms of getting a little sloppy with our fundamentals, so we weren’t as efficient with our offence after the first quarter as we would have liked to have been, but other than that pretty happy with the four points.”

Paxman is expecting a very similar game next week against Brisbane to the one the Dees had to contend with against the Saints.

“(Brisbane) is a really good contest team, so I think today’s really good preparation for next week,” she said. “They use the ball really well in addition to their great contest and their pressure, so it’ll be a high pressure, fast game. They’ll keep us on our toes.”

Paxman has taken on a slightly new role this season with a few new faces alongside her in the midfield, but she is loving her altered responsibilities.

“We’ve got a bunch of awesome new players and people that have jumped on board,” she said. “Grouse personalities, and they just add so much depth to our side. We’ve got a bit of a new look midfield, with [Olivia] Purcell and [Eliza] Westy in there, and just other girls that can roll through there which is just super handy like Kate [Hore] and even [Shelley Heath] Heater.

“The new girls that have jumped on board, (it was) Will [Charlotte Wilson]’s first game today as well, moving across from Carlton, they’re just great characters and bring a lot of energy to the team, so we love them all.”

Reflecting on last season and the way it ended, Paxman noted that Melbourne has taken “lessons” from previous games, including last year’s Grand Final.

With the change in season start time this time around, Paxman said that for many playing in winter “feels a bit familiar” and arcs back to the old school footy days.

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