Meghan McDonald will lead Geelong’s AFLW side into season 2021 after being named the second AFLW captain in club history. McDonald takes over from Melissa Hickey who retired at the end of the 2020 season.

The 29-year-old arrived at GMHBA Stadium in 2018 after four games of AFLW experience at the Western Bulldogs in 2017. McDonald was a member of the Darebin Falcons’ premiership sides of 2016 and 2017 and enjoyed a standout year in the VFLW in 2018.

The All-Australian defender made history after claiming the club’s inaugural Best & Fairest award in 2019. McDonald has played 12 games in the blue and white hoops across the club’s first two seasons in the AFLW competition.

McDonald will be ably supported by the 2021 player leadership group who will lead the team and drive performance. Jordan Ivey has been named vice-captain, along with existing members Renee Garing and Aasta O’Connor and new members Maddy Keryk and Nina Morrison.

The 2021 leadership group (left to right): Aasta O'Connor, Maddy Keryk, Meghan McDonald (captain), Jordan Ivey (vice-captain), Nina Morrison, Renee Garing.

“I consider it a great privilege and very special to be part of this team, this program and this footy club. So to be asked to help lead this group, to reflect it, and to represent it is a great honour and I’m very thankful,” McDonald said.

“I’ve got some big biceps to fill and we’re all better for the captaincy and the leadership of Melissa.

“I’m so pleased to continue to work with Renee, Aasta and Jordi having learnt so much from them and with them this year. To see the group expand with Nina and Mads and better reflect the demographic of our team is so important. They’ve both had their challenges in football, so for them to emerge so esteemed by our team is a testament to them both.

“I’m excited by the momentum we’re building right now, as we continue to assume our place in this club and this competition. Not just as part of it, but as a team that’s contributing to its greatness and driving it forward.”

Geelong’s head of women’s football Brett Johnson is looking forward to seeing McDonald and the player leadership group lead from the front in 2021.

“Our club is very fortunate to have a diverse and talented PLG who are committed to driving our purpose and values. 

“Meghan is a natural leader who models supportive actions that build confidence and develop the capacity of her teammates.

“We look forward to this group leading from the front in 2021.”