DESPITE going down to Carlton by 43 points in a practice match at Ikon Park on Saturday, Melbourne vice-captain Mel Hickey says there were still plenty of positives to draw from in the lead-up to their inaugural AFL Women’s season.  

Carlton 8.4 (52) defeated Melbourne 1.3 (9) after the Blues led by just eight points at three quarter-time. Aliesha Newman kicked Melbourne’s goal.

Hickey said the team was frustrated with its final quarter, but still took enough from the hit-out.  

“It was definitely a quick game. It gave us a taste of what 16-a-side is probably going to bring in the AFL Women’s season. We’re pretty disappointed with the result on the scoreboard, but there are heaps and heaps of things for us to work on,” she told Melbourne TV.

“There is lots of vision for us to work on over the next two weeks and we’ll be able to sharpen them up leading into round one, so it was pleasing in that aspect.

“They (Carlton) really pulled away in the last quarter, so it was probably a lapse in concentration. It was our first game and we dropped off a bit in the last quarter and we weren’t able to hang in. We were happy with our second and third quarters, but we couldn’t hold on in that last quarter.”

Hickey said it was “pretty awesome” to play with her teammates for the first time in a competitive match.

“You could see the girls were really excited before the game and the coaches as well,” she said.

“There was a pretty good crowd and it was a beautiful day, so it was pretty nice.

“We’ll have a bit of a debrief [about the match] with the girls … but the quicker we can move on and learn from it, rather than dwell on it, will be what we’re looking at. Hopefully we’ll take a lot from it.”

Hickey rated her game similar to the team’s performance.

“I was probably on par [with the team] and not too bad in the first, second and third quarters,” she said.

“I faded away a bit, and I played through the midfield and the backline. I had a bit of a different role in the backline, which is good to learn later in your career – to have a new challenge.

“We’ve got a good group of five to seven girls going through the backline, so it’s about getting that chemistry and working on that.”