Inaugural Cats captain calls time on career

GEELONG'S inaugural AFLW captain Melissa Hickey has announced her retirement.

One of the pioneers of women's football, Hickey played 25 AFLW games after a distinguished 105-game career in the VFLW with Darebin that yielded seven premierships.

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She spent the first two seasons in the AFLW with Melbourne, before crossing to Geelong to represent the side where her grandfather Reg was a playing and coaching legend.

"It really has been a childhood dream to be able to come to Geelong and pull on the hoops," Hickey said in a statement on Thursday.

"I will be forever grateful to the Geelong Football Club for the opportunity to lead such an incredible group of women.

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

Melissa Hickey

"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 clubs 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."