Geelong has unveiled its AFLW player leadership group for the upcoming 2020 season, with returning captain Melissa Hickey to head up the five-player group.

Hickey will be joined in the player leadership group by Meghan McDonald, Aasta O’Connor, Renee Garing, and Jordan Ivey.

Hickey will lead the club’s AFLW side for a second consecutive year. A well-respected individual, Hickey’s contribution, dedication and leadership both on and off the field is highly regarded by her teammates and coaches.

The 35-year-old has played 19 AFLW games for Geelong and Melbourne since the inaugural AFLW season in 2017.

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McDonald on the new PLG

Meg McDonald speaks about the 2020 AFLW Player Leadership Group

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Hickey will be supported by McDonald who has been named vice-captain.

McDonald enjoyed a successful 2019, playing all eight games, she was Geelong’s leading disposal winner. Named at full-back in the 2019 AFLW All Australian side, McDonald went on to win Geelong’s inaugural AFLW Best & Fairest award, etching her name in club history.

Like McDonald, Ivey also joins the AFLW player leadership group for the first time. Ivey played all eight AFLW games in 2019, and was named in the top 10 at the club’s AFLW Best and Fairest. Ivey continued to prove herself to be a valuable asset, finishing runner-up in Geelong’s VFLW best and fairest last year.

Existing player leadership group members O’Connor and Garing will continue to lead the group into 2020.

Head of Women’s Football Simone Bellears says the new group reflects the expectations and values that the AFLW group has established over the inaugural season.  

“The players have done a lot of work together across the pre-season in setting expectations around our values, which formed the basis for the players when voting in the player leadership group,” Bellears said.

“We are pleased to have finalised the AFLW player leadership group for 2020. It’s fantastic to see Melissa Hickey continue as captain, we know that her passion and leadership qualities will continue to unite the group going forward.

“We are also excited to see Meg McDonald named as vice-captain, recognition of the significant impact she has had on our playing group in such a short amount of time. Her impact on-field speaks for itself, and her impact off-field has been just as significant.”