MELBOURNE co-vice-captain Mel Hickey says the team hasn’t given up on the season and is still aiming to play in the inaugural AFL Women’s Grand Final.
Although Melbourne went down to GWS last Friday night at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney, in the process handing the Giants their inaugural win in the AFLW season, Hickey said her team hadn’t written off 2017.
“Last round’s loss still hurts a lot. It feels like a big missed opportunity, considering where it puts us. It makes it so much harder to be in the final two,” she told melbournefc.com.au.
“But we had a compulsory recovery session on Sunday afternoon, which was done at the last minute – just to get the girls together and move past it.
“It was a pretty sombre last Friday night, but there is no time to dwell on losses too much, when you’re in such a small competition. We’ve had to move on pretty quick.”
Hickey said the challenge of defeating the Adelaide Crows at TIO Stadium (Darwin) this Saturday night and then Fremantle at Casey Fields in the final round could was a great test for the team.
“We knew we needed to beat Adelaide before the GWS game to still be a chance for the Grand Final, but if we lose this game against the Crows, then that’s the season done,” she said.
“We haven’t played in Darwin, but we’ve played in a few different conditions this season – we had torrential rain against Brisbane in round one – and we had soggy conditions against GWS.
“We’ve had a few different challenges thrown at us, so with the humidity and sweat – it’s going to be tough, but a great mental challenge. We’re going to have to draw upon our own mental strength.”
Hickey said she had played in Darwin previously, but several Melbourne players hadn’t even been to the Northern Territory – let alone played a game in the Top End.
“Until you’ve experienced it, it’s quite unique, so it’s completely different, but a great opportunity for us and we can’t wait,” she said.