When Meghan McDonald and Melissa Hickey first met, neither of them would have imagined that in five years’ time they would be leading an AFLW club together. 

The two met in 2015 at their local club the Darebin Falcons, playing in the Victorian Women’s Football League (VWFL). 

With the AFLW still a few years away, the VWFL was the highest level of female football in the state at the time.

The pair were at opposing stages of their careers.

McDonald was entering her first season and Hickey was an established leader who had represented her state, played in four premierships and had been awarded All Australian honours.

“I’ve known Melissa since I started footy,” explains McDonald. 

“I went down to Darebin in 2015 and she was already leading the way down there.”

“She was one of the first to set those really elite standards, so I guess I’ve been following her leadership for a number of years now.

Now five years down the track the two find themselves selected as captain and vice-captain of the Geelong Football Club.

Inaugural captain Hickey has been elected for the second year running, whilst McDonald’s exceptional 2019 season has seen her enter the leadership group for the first time.

McDonald believes the two leaders will complement each other.

“You get voted in because hopefully you’re doing certain behaviours already so I hope we just continue in the fashion that we are. 

“She is an extremely caring person and I really value that in her. 

“We both know when to take things seriously and to drive the group and then also when to have a little bit of a laugh and find that balance. 

 “I hope we can play both those roles together.”