She averaged 21 disposals in the inaugural season of the AFLW, a year in which she was runner-up to Erin Phillips in the league best and fairest as well as the most valuable player award and Melbourne’s club champion award (behind Daisy Pearce). This year she is averaging 17 disposals a game although that is skewed by the fact she played just one quarter of round one.
Has she ever played a 30-disposal game? A big number? “You know what? I’m not the person
to be asking about that,’’ she said with a laugh.
Paxman is not kidding about the statistics. In fact she is mildly famous for her indifference to the game generally – at least to the men’s game. Arriving at Melbourne after playing in a string of state league premierships with Darebin and St Albans, people around her were stunned to find that she knew hardly anything of the AFL.
Mick Stinear, the Melbourne coach, has come to realise that she marches to her own beat. But at
the same time, he regards Paxman as “our most natural footballer and runner’’.
Full-time professionalism is still a few years away in women’s football, and the 29-year-old Paxman is an example. She is in the second year of a social work degree at RMIT and also works a day job, at a housing group where she deals with youth homelessness, something she feels passionately about, as well as being a multiple All-Australian footballer.