K rock Football

Hickey no certainty

GEELONG captain Mel Hickey remains unsure whether she will play in Saturday night’s historic AFLW opener against Collingwood.

The star recruit from Melbourne must prove her fitness at Thursday training before she is confirmed for the inaugural Geelong game in the women’s league.

Hickey missed their trial match as she returns from the knee reconstruction that ruined her AFLW season a year ago.

“I have a couple of things that I have to tick off (Thursday) night, but I’m hoping to be out there,” she said.

“If you ask me I will be playing, but an athlete is always going to say that. It’s a tough one.”

The Cats will already be without fellow marquee signing Rochelle Cranston, another former Demon.

She is serving a two-match ban for rough conduct in the wake of their trial match against Carlton.

“We bank on our list. We have a list that goes deep,” Hickey said.

“So it gives someone else an opportunity to play through the middle.

“Obviously it’s disappointing for the club, but I’m an optimist with these things.”

Hickey hopes Saturday night’s game at GMHBA Stadium will attract a crowd of at least 20,000.

Geelong and North Melbourne are this season’s AFLW expansion clubs and being part of the Cats is particularly special for Hickey.

Her grandfather’s cousin Reg Hickey is a legendary figure at Geelong and has a grandstand named after him at their home ground.

“Family is huge for me and it does have an extra weight because of that,” she said.

“I have so many reminders of the Hickey name – when I walk into the club, the stand is there and Reg has photos throughout the club.

“It does feel like a bit of a fairytale.”

She was unimpressed when it was put to her that perhaps the stand should be renamed Mel Hickey for AFLW matches.

“If I’m involved in four premierships, I will put a stake in that,” Hickey said.

(C) AAP 2019