New Swans recruit Maddy Collier is having a different sort of influence around the club as they prepare for their AFLW debut.
Collier is out with an ankle injury, however as a member of the Swans leadership group as well as a member of the rehab group, Collier’s leadership takes on different forms.
Speaking to The Inner Sanctum at Captains Day at Marvel Stadium, Collier explains her role as a leader going through the injury rehabilitation process.
“It’s a good challenge, and rewarding as well at the same time,” Collier told The Inner Sanctum.
“For me, it’s just been looking at how I can build connections with the girls, off-field but around the club as much as I can.
“[I’m] really trying to drive standards, particularly in the rehab group, which is where I am, so just trying to have an influence on the younger players, me being older and experienced in the competition for so long, it’s probably what I’m aiming to do.”
Collier jumped at the opportunity to return home to Sydney after 34 games at West Coast and Greater Western Sydney.
“It’s been awesome. I think, when I was over in Perth, it made it extra long with COVID, just not being able to see the family and friends. That’s something I’ve been relishing since being back in Sydney,” she said.
“Playing footy with the girls has been awesome, I’m in rehab at the moment but hoping to get back to footy as soon as possible.”
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Collier has plenty of AFLW experience alongside her in the leadership group, none more so than inaugural AFLW player Brooke Lochland.
“Yeah, it’s been amazing, I think our leadership group as a whole, we have a lot of strengths among them, and [we] sort of compliment each other in different ways,” she said.
“Brooke’s been great, she’s obviously really experienced but we’ve got some other AFLW experience in there as well, which has been fantastic.
“Lauren Szigeti, who’s one of our new pickups, has been fantastic, very young but very mature and just leads elite standards, it’s fantastic to have her in there as well.
The perspectives of Szigeti and Alana Woodward, who have both battled at AFLW and VFLW level for their spots are also crucial as Collier explains.
“Absolutely, I think obviously those two have had their setbacks, but that’s probably been the story for our whole team, [we’ve] sort of been knocked back and denied some opportunities in the past,” she said.
“That’s probably going to be our point of difference this year, to finally relish the opportunity that they’ve been given, I think it’s going to be an exciting year for us.”
With Sydney set to play its first-ever AFLW match against St Kilda on August 27, two practice hit outs against GWS and Collingwood have given Collier and the girls plenty to work with.
“I think our first half against Collingwood was really awesome, I think if we play like that we’ll be able to bring it to any team in the competition,” she said.
“Then, at halftime, we made a few changes, and I think that’ll be our biggest challenge, just stringing together a four-quarter game as it is for probably most teams.
“Our goal is just to be really competitive which I think we’ll be able to do.”
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