Mel Hickey, Richelle Cranston, Anna Teague and Erin Hoare have become the first Geelong AFLW players in history after officially signing onto the Cats inaugural AFLW line up.
In 2019, the Hickey name will again wear the navy and white hoops, with All Australian Mel Hickey committing to the club. Hickey will wear the number 18 made famous by the man whose name adorns the grand stand at GMHBA Stadium.
The name Hickey is one of the most famous in the history of the Geelong Football Club, with Reg Hickey a towering figure as player and coach.
“Obviously my family has an amazing connection to the Cats, and this is a dream come true,” Hickey said.
“While I have always had a love for the Cats, ultimately it is the professionalism, vision and commitment that the club is already displaying that made this decision an easy one.
“In talking to the players that have been here in the VFLW program, Paul Hood and the coaches and the management and staff at the club, it is clear that the women’s program is treated with the utmost respect and importance. The facilities are unbelievable, and the growth of women’s football in the region since the club launched its women’s program is well ahead of expectations.
“I can’t wait to get out on the track with the team for the first season.”
Hickey has spent the previous two seasons with Melbourne, playing 13 games. She earned All Australian honours in 2017 as a key position player, appearing mainly in defence.
Hickey enjoyed a decorated career in the VFLW competition, earning six premierships medals in a career spent with Darebin and St Albans. Currently recovering from an ACL rupture suffered late in the 2018 AFLW competition, Hickey is expected to be fit for the Cats first AFLW campaign.
Richelle Cranston has signed with the Cats’ after having spent two years and 13 games with Melbourne’s AFLW side.
Cranston is a versatile midfielder, having played a number of role in the Cats VFLW midfield in 2017. ‘Rocky’ was named in the VFLW team of the year in 2017 and has played 22 VFL games over the past two seasons.
A talented all-around athlete, having also played gridiron, Cranston has played close to a decade of football, starting in Ballarat before moving to Geelong.
Anna Teague signs on with the Cats’ AFLW side after 14 VFLW games for the Cats in 2017 and four as a rookie for Melbourne’s AFLW side.
A former captain of the Geelong Supercats women’s basketball team, Teague excelled in her first season of football in defence for the Cats, placing third in the Cats best & fairest last year.
Erin Hoare’s football career began just 15 months ago. An elite netballer, the former NSW Swift and Melbourne Vixen played 8 games for Geelong in their inaugural VFLW season before catching the eye of recruiters and joining Melbourne’s as a rookie for their 2018 season.
The tallest player in the AFLW competition, Hoare played 4 AFLW games and proved to be one of the league’s most effective tap rucks.
Cats’ AFLW coach Paul Hood is thrilled to welcome all four players to the fold.
“We are obviously overjoyed to have secured the talent of Mel, ‘Rocky’, Anna and Erin,” Hood said.
“Their AFLW experience will be extremely valuable in shaping the development of the rest of our squad as we enter into 2019.
“Our younger players will have great role models to learn from and their talents will bring stability and strength to our team.”
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