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Phoebe's Story: Week Four

Melissa Hickey - AFLW Captaincy Melissa Hickey speaks to Cats Media after becoming the club's first ever AFLW captain
She works hard every training session, encourages others, gives advice and has a positive attitude that is contagious.
Phoebe McWilliams on Melissa Hickey
There are many qualities that define a good leader. Resilience, experience and the ability to lead by example are just a few that come to mind.

This week the squad was given the task of choosing the Player Leadership Group (PLG) to guide us in our inaugural season of AFLW.

We are four weeks into the program and over that month we have spent A LOT of time together. Four training sessions a week on top of our team bonding camp meant we were all more than qualified to make our selections.

When Hoody announced the group on Tuesday night, for me, there weren’t any surprises. These girls have been leaders since day one.

Hickey, Bec Goring, Rocky, Aasta, Teaguey and Renee will make up our PLG in 2019.

Hickey will be the club’s inaugural captain. With a decade of football experience at the top level there’s no one more qualified. She works hard every training session, encourages others, gives advice and has a positive attitude that is contagious. Congrats, Hickey. You will be great.

Bec Goring will be Hickey’s deputy. Bec has been captain of the club’s VFLW side for the past two seasons and will provide invaluable insight to this group and how to lead them. She’s tough and smart and will be a wonderful support for Hickey.

Aasta was a member of this year’s Western Bulldogs grand final team and knows what it takes to win a premiership. She also works at the AFL as their AFLW talent manager and as a result has formed strong relationships with the youth of our team. You can see that the younger players look up to her.

When you look up “lead by example” in the dictionary there’s a picture of Richelle ‘Rocky’ Cranston. No one gets more excited about footy (and the gym) than Rocky does. Her intensity and willingness to improve is admirable. We all need to be a bit like Rocky.

Teaguey and Renee Garing make up the leadership group. Renee is kind, caring and always looking out for others. Teaguey is a mature head, she’s honest and competitive.

This group has an excellent mix if personalities and qualities. They will take us far.

A reason I know this leadership group will be successful is because the players they are responsible for are all leaders in their own way.

Kate Darby always provides instruction and encouragement in the forward line, Flynny (Elise Coventry) leads in defence with her attitude and determination and even 18-year-old Nina leads the way with her work rate.

Who better to speak to us after the announcement than one of the club’s greatest ever leaders, Joel Selwood.

Joel congratulated the leadership group and spoke to us about his experience at the club. You could see on his face how excited he is for our team.

On the track we are starting to focus more on our game plan and putting it into practice.

In the gym we have had some very questionable additions to our work out playlist. Each week Rocky collates a list of songs for us to work out to and every player picks a song. Some of this week’s ‘hits’ included Vanessa Amorosi’s Shine, Delta Goodrem’s Sitting on Top of the World, and Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is You.

Though most of us shook our heads when these ‘bangers’ came on, Hannah Burchell was caught dancing along to them on the cross trainer. I’m sure I can get the footage if anyone wants to see.

Next week is our final weeks training before the Christmas break. I’m sure Mon has a fun week of fitness testing planned. The girls are all feeling fit so I’m sure it will be a walk in the park.


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs