Finishing season six in sixth position and having its finals campaign cut short after losing the qualifying final, Collingwood will be looking to go further in season seven.
Sixth (six wins, four losses)
Despite early injury blows to Joanna Lin and Brianna Davey, Collingwood’s season went quite well overall. Winning six games for the season sent them through to the finals, but they ultimately lost to an in-form Brisbane Lions outfit.
Jaimee Lambert had a stellar season, taking out the club’s best and fairest award with her dominant performances, averaging 20.3 disposals throughout the season, and playing every game.
Although she went down with an injury late in the season, Brit Bonnici had an impact on the game, and along with Lambert polled high in the W Awards.
Honourable mentions to Ruby Schleicher and Mikala Cann, who finished second and third in the best and fairest respectively. Both players had leading performances all season, but really turned it on in the final home and away game against a lacklustre Richmond side, which ultimately saw them into the finals.
Sarah Rowe was handed a one-match ban for engaging in rough conduct during the qualifying final and is expected to miss one game this season.
What to look forward to:
A fresh season brings with it new talent, and fans will be keen to see how the new recruits go in their first season at Collingwood.
Olivia Barber, who was traded from Geelong will be one to watch. Kicking her first goal within the first 30 seconds of her debut game in 2021 against Collingwood no less, Barber has played 10 games across her first two seasons and will hopefully face her old side in round three.
Chloe Molloy played most of the 2022 season up forward so it will be interesting to see whether she remains there or spends time in the midfield with spots to fill. Molloy averaged 11.1 disposals from her 10 games in 2022.
Collingwood will also be facing expansion sides Essendon and Sydney for the first time, which should prove to be a great spectacle.
Biggest unanswered question:
With an earlier start to the season, it’s still unclear when injured stars Brit Bonnici and Brianna Davey will return, after being placed on the inactive list.
It’s a big blow to the Magpies midfield but there is a possibility that we could see defender Ruby Schleicher move into that role, as she has been training with the midfield group during the pre-season.
Another question looms around Ash Brazill and whether we will see more of her this season, after her netball commitments saw her miss the 2021 season.
It’s a big year for:
Her first season in the black and white didn’t quite live up to the hype, so there will be big expectations from Sabrina Frederick going into season seven.
She managed only four goals from her nine games in 2022, and the question remains whether she’ll be fit enough to be a full-time ruck, or just a deep forward.
Frederick, who was one of Brisbane’s marquee players in the inaugural AFL season, will be closing in on game 50 early this season.Embed from Getty Images
More AFLW Season Previews
The Pies have been dealt an even fixture of five home games (four at Victoria Park and one at the AIA Centre) and five away games.
Arguably the biggest and most exciting game is the season opener against cross town rival Carlton, which is sure to draw another large crowd.
Since the inaugural season in 2017, these sides have met six times, with three wins apiece. A crucial win for the Pies would see them take the lead and get their season off to a flying start.
All eyes will be on the round five match against Essendon. With the long-standing history between their AFL counterparts, we will see if a rivalry is forged between these two sides as Essendon enters the competition for the first time.
Former Magpie Sophie Alexander, who joined the Bombers during the trade period, could face her old side for the first time.
R1: vs. Carlton, August 25 (IKON Park)
R2: vs. Sydney, September 4 (Victoria Park)
R3: vs. Geelong, September 10 (GMHBA Stadium)
R4: vs. Adelaide, September 18 (Victoria Park)
R5: vs. Essendon, September 23 (AIA Centre)
R6: vs. St Kilda, October 1 (RSEA Park)
R7: vs. Greater Western Sydney, October 9 (Victoria Park)
R8: vs. Fremantle, October 16 (Fremantle Oval)
R9: vs. North Melbourne, October 22 (Victoria Park)
R10: vs. Brisbane, TBC (Metricon Stadium)
Ins: Olivia Barber (Geelong), Charlotte Blair (Dandenong Stingrays), Lauren Brazzale (Carlton), Imogen Evans (Gold Coast Suns Academy), Sarah Sansonetti (Richmond), Emily Smith (Tasmania Cricket), Charlotte Taylor (Oakleigh Chargers/Collingwood VFLW)
Outs: Sophie Alexander (Essendon), Olivia Meagher (delisted), Aliesha Newman (Sydney), Ebony O’Dea (Port Adelaide), Imogen Purcell (delisted), Bella Smith (Sydney), Amelia Velardo (Carlton)
Inactive: Brittany Bonnici (knee), Brianna Davey (knee)
Predicted Round 1 line-up:
After finishing last season in sixth position, the only way is up for the Pies.
There’ll be added competition with the inclusion of the four new expansion clubs, but with their finals campaign cut short following the loss to the Brisbane Lions, the Pies will want to push themselves to go further and make it to the Grand Final.
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