Mel Hickey, Richelle Cranston, Anna Teague and Erin Hoare have become the first Geelong AFLW players after officially signing onto the Cats inaugural AFLW line up.

“We are obviously overjoyed to have secured the talent of Mel, ‘Rocky’, Anna and Erin,” Hood said.

“Their AFLW experience will be extremely valuable in shaping the development of the rest of our squad as we enter into 2019.

“Our younger players will have great role models to learn from and their talents will bring stability and strength to our team,” he said.

Hickey, who was linked to the club earlier today, has spent the previous two seasons at Melbourne.

“Obviously my family has an amazing connection to the Cats, and this is a dream come true,” Hickey said.

“In talking to the players that have been here in the VFLW program, Paul Hood and the coaches and the management and staff at the club, it is clear that the women’s program is treated with the utmost respect and importance," she said.

Hickey is joined by teammate Cranston, who played a number of roles in the Cats VFLW midfield in 2017 and was also named in the VFLW team of the year in 2017.

Teague also signs on after 14 VFLW games for the Cats in 2017 and four as a rookie for Melbourne’s AFLW side.

Hoare’s was previously an elite netballer with the NSW Swifts and Melbourne Vixens before her football career began just 15 months ago playing eight games for Geelong in their inaugural VFLW season before catching the eye of recruiters and joining Melbourne’s as a rookie for their 2018 season.