Mel Hickey is the current captain of the Geelong Cats AFLW team that was introduced into the league this year. With great strength, agility and leadership, Mel is one of the league’s most formidable defenders. Hickey has an extensive bloodline in the sport, with her great, great uncle, Pat Hickey, playing in the inaugural VFL round in 1897 for Fitzroy. Mel grew up in Red Cliffs in rural Victoria where she predominantly played netball as a child due to the insufficient availability of football for woman.
Mel pursued her AFL career in 2009, joining the prestigious Darebin Falcons in the VWFL. In her first two years, Hickey won two premierships with the club as well as an All-Australian appointment in 2010. Hickey then joined St Albans Football Club in the VWFL where she saw further personal success. 2011 was a bittersweet year for Hickey as she was awarded All-Australian selection however sadly missed the St Albans’ finals campaign and premiership after tearing her ACL at the end of the home and away season. Sadly, Hickey missed the entirety of the 2012 season due to her ACL recovery. Upon her 2013 return, she returned to the Darebin Falcons. Mel had a fantastic 2013 campaign where she not only helped Darebin to a premiership; she was also awarded the Lisa Hardeman Medal for the best player on the ground during the Grand Final.
2014 saw Mel recruited by the Melbourne Football Club where she was to play in the Women’s AFL exhibition matches. Due to her continued growth and development as a player and leader, Melbourne Football Club retained Mel until the end of 2016 before signing her ahead of the 2017 inaugural AFLW season. In January 2017, Mel was appointed Vice-Captain of the Melbourne Football Club. Furthermore, at the conclusion of the inaugural AFLW season, Mel was selected in the All-Australian team.
Prior to the 2019 season Mel elected to move to the Geelong Cats for their inaugural AFLW season where she would be elected captain.