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AFLW: 'Brilliant advice' that sealed Hickey move

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Former Demon Mel Hickey will move to Geelong for the 2019 AFLW season - AFLW,Geelong Cats,Melissa Hickey
Former Demon Mel Hickey will move to Geelong for the 2019 AFLW season

STAR Geelong recruit Melissa Hickey has revealed an unexpected source of advice when she was tossing up whether to make the move from Melbourne.

Hickey said she spoke to several people, primarily family and friends, but also got in contact with AFL head of football operations Steve Hocking.

Hocking worked at Geelong for more than 10 years before giving up his role as football manager to join the AFL last October.

"It was brilliant advice: put money out of the equation," Hickey said.

"Money will come and go, it's what will get you out of bed every morning and get you excited about footy [that's important and] what will make footy fun. It's probably the best bit of advice I got out of all the people I spoke to. It really helped." 

Geelong announced on Tuesday the 33-year-old would join the club when the official expansion signing period opens on Friday.

She will be joined at Kardinia Park by ex-Demons teammates Richelle Cranston, Erin Hoare and Anna Teague. 

Geelong coach Paul Hood suggested there wouldn't be a big rush of AFLW players signing with the Cats when the official period opens on Friday, with the club instead backing local talent. 

"There's some great talent in the Geelong region. We watch the Geelong Falcons youth girls team (under-18 TAC Cup) with a really close eye and they're doing really well at the moment. We look forward to developing some of their players in the back half of the VFLW season," Hood said. 

"The girls at AFL Barwon level (the local Geelong competition) are playing really well. We know there's some players at that level we will continue to work with and we're really confident in the talent of our own VFL Women's program."

Hickey has a long-standing family connection to the club, with her grandfather's cousin Reg a premiership player, captain and coach with the Cats. 

She will wear the No.18, Reg's number and her own at Melbourne, for Geelong. 

Having lined up a job with Geelong mentoring the club's VFLW players, Hickey said the thought of playing for a brand-new club was appealing. The Cats will join the NAB AFLW competition next season. 

"I can see what the club's been doing with their VFLW program and have great confidence in that," she said.

"I know some of the Dees girls coming back with me and [I'm] really confident in the calibre of those players. It's going to be special, building something from scratch." 

Hickey is two months removed from her second knee reconstruction, after tearing the ACL in her left knee in Melbourne's round six match against Carlton in March.

She expects to be fit in time for round one next season.

"I'm just working on the things you need to in rehab. Just started some lifting which is really cool and a little bit of work on the bike as well," Hickey said. 

"I'm probably 4-6 weeks away from running. I'll catch up with the [medical and strength and conditioning] guys here and move my rehab to Geelong. I don't really have any concerns about it."