K rock Football

Hickey hangs them up

Mel Hickey in action for Geelong. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG AFLW captain Mel Hickey has announced her retirement.

LESS than 24 hours after the Cats’ season was ended a fortnight early, the 35-year-old has made the decision to end her stellar career.

Hickey, who joined the Geelong of its AFLW debut in 2019 from Melbourne, was a star for Darebin in the VWFL and VFLW competitions are making a move from Mildura.

Related to Cats’ legend Reg Hickey, pulling on the Hoops was a childhood dream.

“I will be forever grateful to the Geelong Football Club for the opportunity to lead such an incredible group of women,” Hickey said.

“I have been so fortunate across my career to play for three incredible clubs, Darebin, Melbourne and Geelong and I will cherish the friendships I have made and the people I have had the pleasure of working with. Every single one of them have added to my life in some way.

“Thank you doesn’t feel like enough but I would like to thank the club’s I have played for, the teammates I have played with, the coaches and staff I have worked with and the fans for their support.

“Football has allowed me to grow as a person and find a place where I could live out my passion.”

AFLW: MIXED REACTION AT THE CATS

A seven-time premiership player with Darebin, Hickey earned All-Australian selection after representing Victoria at the National Championships in 2011 and after an impressive season with Melbourne when the AFLW commenced in 2017.

Geelong coach Paul Hood praised Hickey’s crucial contribution during the club’s early foray into women’s football.

“The Geelong Football Club will be forever grateful to Melissa for her terrific service in the club’s inaugural years of AFLW,” Hood said.

“Her leadership has been outstanding in so many ways. From the way she physically sets the tone with her elite preparation for games, to the way she cares so deeply about her teammates and communicates and leads by example on the field.

“She’s a leader who leads with her mind, body and heart, which we see each and every time she takes the field and in her interactions with the playing group off the field.

“As coach, I’ll be forever grateful for the way Melissa has supported her teammates and provided inspiration throughout our formative seasons.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

Melissa Hickey – Playing career

  • Geelong AFLW (2019 – 2020) – 12 games,
  • Melbourne AFLW (2017 – 2018) – 13 games, 2 goals
  • Melbourne AFL Women’s Exhibition (2013 – 2016) – 7 games
  • Darebin Falcon VWFL/VFLW (2009 – 2010, 2013 – 2017) – 105 games, 17 goals

Melissa Hickey – Career highlights

  • Played 25th AFLW game – Round 6, 2020
  • Captained Geelong AFLW 2019-2020
  • AFLW All-Australian 2017
  • Represented Victoria in AFLW State of Origin 2017
  • Member of Melbourne’s first AFLW team v Brisbane – Round 1, 2017
  • Member of Darebin Premiership team 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Lisa Hardeman medal (VWFL GF BOG) 2013
  • VFLW Team of the Year 2016, 2017
  • VWFL All-Australian 2011
  • Represented Victoria in National Championships 2011, 2013, 2015