Geelong AFLW captain Melissa Hickey has today announced her retirement from the game.

The 35-year-old informed her teammates of her decision today after Geelong’s AFLW season came to an end yesterday. Hickey played her 25th and final AFLW game last Friday night against North Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium.

Hickey will go down in club history as Geelong’s inaugural AFLW captain after signing on with the Cats in the 2018 AFLW trade period. Hickey played 12 games for Geelong across the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

A member of Melbourne’s AFLW side from 2017-2018, Hickey played 13 games for the Demons, earning All-Australian honours in 2017 as a key position player in defence.

Hickey represented Melbourne in the AFL’s Women’s Exhibition games from 2013 – 2016 and enjoyed a decorated career in the VFLW competition, earning seven premiership medals with the Darebin Falcons.

Hickey today reflected on a career that has spanned 12 years, after beginning her football with Darebin in 2009.

“It really has been a childhood dream to be able to come to Geelong and pull on the hoops. I will be forever grateful to the Geelong Football Club for the opportunity to lead such an incredible group of women,” Hickey said.

“I have been so fortunate across my career to play for three incredible clubs, Darebin, Melbourne and Geelong and I will cherish the friendships I have made and the people I have had the pleasure of working with. Every single one of them have added to my life in some way.

“Thank you doesn’t feel like enough but I would like to thank the club’s I have played for, the teammates I have played with, the coaches and staff I have worked with and the fans for their support.

“Football has allowed me to grow as a person and find a place where I could live out my passion.”

Geelong AFLW coach Paul Hood paid tribute to Hickey and her outstanding leadership.

“The Geelong Football Club will be forever grateful to Melissa for her terrific service in the club’s inaugural years of AFLW,” Hood said.

“Her leadership has been outstanding in so many ways. From the way she physically sets the tone with her elite preparation for games, to the way she cares so deeply about her teammates and communicates and leads by example on the field.

“She’s a leader who leads with her mind, body and heart which we see each and every time she takes the field and in her interactions with the playing group off the field.

“As coach, I’ll be forever grateful for the way Melissa has supported her teammates and provided inspiration throughout our formative seasons.”

Geelong’s Head of Women’s Football Simone Bellears said Hickey would always be part of the Geelong Football Club.

“Melissa came to our club as an inspiring leader in her own right. She has led our AFLW team with passion and heart, in what was a physically challenging year for her personally.

“Melissa has added another honourable chapter to the Hickey connection at our club and will forever have a place in the Cats family.”


Melissa Hickey – Playing career

  • Geelong AFLW (2019 – 2020) – 12 games,
  • Melbourne AFLW (2017 – 2018) – 13 games, 2 goals
  • Melbourne AFL Women’s Exhibition (2013 – 2016) – 7 games
  • Darebin Falcon VFLW (2009 – 2010, 2013 – 2017) – 105 games, 17 goals


Melissa Hickey – Career highlights

  • Played 25th AFLW game – Round 6, 2020
  • Captained Geelong AFLW 2019-2020
  • AFLW All-Australian 2017
  • Represented Victoria in AFLW State of Origin 2017
  • Member of Melbourne’s first AFLW team v Brisbane - Round 1, 2017
  • Member of Darebin Premiership team 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Lisa Hardeman medal (VWFL GF BOG) 2013
  • VFLW Team of the Year 2016, 2017
  • VFLW All-Australian 2011
  • Represented Victoria in national championships 2011, 2013, 2015
01:05 Mins
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