Inaugural captain Melissa Hickey has flagged that Geelong’s AFLW team are looking to “raise the bar” in their second season in the competition.

The Cats exceeded expectations in their first season making the preliminary finals, however a 66-point loss to eventual premiers Adelaide and a 31-point loss to the Giants in Round Seven has left the skipper and the playing group determined to improve.

“Making the prelim last season, I think we exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said Hickey.

“But I know that I was pretty disappointed with how we finished the season with that Giants game and then the final. 

“I think that’s left a bit of fire in the belly for some of us.”

This time last year 19 out of the 30 players on the Cats’ list were entering their first season of AFLW. 

In 2020 there will be only six new players, bringing the percentage of players playing in their first season down from 63 percent to 20 percent.

“This time last year we didn’t even know each other.

“Everyone’s now experienced a pre-season, experienced a season so we’re just so much better off for having had that. 

“Everyone knows what to expect now and yeah we can just get straight into it.”

That’s exactly what the playing group has done since beginning training late last month.

In the squad’s three weeks on the track Hickey has noticed the improvement and drive amongst the group.

“I think in general everyone’s stepped up a notch.

“We’re really wanting to raise the bar in terms of our standards, our training standards, you know our professionalism, and how we do it.

“I think we’ve got some real firepower.

“Now it’s really about empowering each other every training session to you know take that kick, it doesn’t matter if you miss it, the more we try and take it the more opportunities we give ourselves to score and be a really aggressive team. 

“So I think the overwhelming feeling is we’re just going to keep raising the bar across everything.

Hickey, who is entering her fourth AFLW season, is enjoying her footy as much ever.

“It surprises me that I still get butterflies.

“I still get excited like the first day of school. 

“It’s a nice sign to me that I’m in the right place.

“We have such an awesome group of girls and I think we all genuinely like each other’s company and like getting to work.”