FOLLOWING on from Lance Arnold, Hassa Mann and Colin Sylvia, Sunraysia has a new face playing with the Melbourne Football Club – but with a slight twist.
Former local Melissa Hickey will be part of the inaugural AFL women’s exhibition game between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs during AFL women’s round on June 29 at the MCG.
The first-ever women’s draft was held on Wednesday night, with Hickey taken by the Demons at pick No.11 overall.
“I didn’t see (being picked at 11) coming at all,” she said. “I hoped I might get in the 50 who were drafted but I wasn’t expecting that.
“Just to play on the MCG will be amazing.
“All you ever dream about is playing there and now I get to do it. I can’t wait.
“(The draft) was in one of the rooms at the MCG, and it was a fantastic night.”
After moving to Melbourne to further her education, Hickey joined the all-conquering Darebin Falcons in 2009 and played in their 2009 and 2010 premiership sides.
The powerhouse side of the Victorian Women’s Football League accounted for 10 of the 50 players drafted, with skipper Daisy Pearce being taken at No.1.
“It’s going to be almost like a normal weekend for us (Darebin players),” she said, laughing.
“There’s only two of us on the Melbourne team and the others are all with the Bulldogs; it’s almost like ganging up.”
Hickey boasts a strong football pedigree, being the daughter of former South Mildura ruckman Peter Hickey, and also being related to Geelong legend, the late Reg Hickey, and former Port Adelaide skipper Matthew Primus.
She is a former Victorian representative who earned All-Australian honours in 2011.
The 28-year-old, however, was forced to sit out all of 2012, and the 2011 VWFL grand final, after tearing her ACL.
“I’m going pretty well at the moment, I’m feeling really strong, I’m not even noticing the knee,” she said.
“I missed about 18 months so I was raring to go at the start of this year.
“With the quality of players involved in the game, it should be a great contest.”