After Season 3 didn’t go as planned, the Pies are looking to bounce back.
With the appointment of new coach Steve Simons and the team doing well in the offseason, acquiring players such as Brianna Davey and regaining rising star Chloe Molloy, there is certainly room for optimism.
But losses have hit Collingwood again in the expansion and trade period, losing future stars in Darcy Guttridge and Illish Ross to St Kilda and Richmond respectively.
At the same time, the trophy cabinet down at the Holden centre acquired a new trophy with the Collingwood VFLW side winning the clubs inaugural women’s premiership.
It's what the Pies will be looking to continue, with that brilliant form and success in Season 2020.
Collingwood will also be looking to get the upper hand on other AFLW teams, by bringing in AFL men’s all Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy one day a week in a training role.
What we learnt from last season
Last season we learnt that the loss of expansion signings hit the Pies hard, with the loss of Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Emma King just to name a few.
It was a disappointing season for the club with only winning the one game for the season. They saved the best until last when Collingwood beat Brisbane at Victoria Park.
Even though they only won the one game for the season, their young talent started to shine, with the likes of Maddie Shelvin, Darcy Guttridge and Sarah Dargan ending up playing key roles in Collingwood’s season.
Irish Import Sarah Rowe impressed with her first season in the AFLW.
Their weakness is staying in games, pure and simple.
There were two games last year that stood out, the Geelong game and the Carlton game, where they were in the lead for 90% of the game, but the opposition game through in the last quarter to steal the win.
The GWS game was the opposite, they let the giants blow them away in the first quarter, and while Collingwood got back to nine points by the end of the game, couldn't make it count.
In these three games, if Collingwood could have put together a full four-quarter performance, the Pies would be a very different story.
Most of Collingwood’s side is relatively young, but does show promise.
Their defence has upheld, because even though they didn’t win that many games, in their AFLW season, their defence was a standout.
With Cross coder and All Australian Ashleigh Brazil, Sophie Casey and Stacey Livingstone, being key pillars in the Pies defence, and with Chloe Molloy potentially spending time down back, it’s going to be no easy task for the oppositions' forward lines to crack.
A wise person once said that defence wins you premierships, and the Pies showed that in their VFLW campaign, and they did that without cross-code superstar Ash Brazil.
Their young list is also one of their strengths, you could see in glimpses of last season that there is some talent there, and with a little more time in the system, they can turn into future stars of the game.
With the gaps left by the departing players, the younger players such as Maddie Shelvin, Sophie Alexander and Sarah Dargan, just to name a few, absolutely stepped up and for Collingwood fans they showed real promise: how there is an exciting future ahead for Collingwood.
Bri Davey says It’s all about improving the win loss ratio
"I think for a new person coming in, the obvious thing would be to hopefully be a bit more successful in terms of the win-to-loss ratio, we obviously didn't do the girls last year proud. We probably didn't have the season they wanted.
"In terms of where they ended up on the ladder and whatnot. And that's not always going to be all and end all, but yeah I think it's just getting that confidence back in.
"That belief that, you know, we can win games going into this season and so there's some really good talent on the list. That feeling that we can actually compete in and beat anyone we come up against."
One player to watch
The recent Collingwood draftee has a lot of promise, seeing some of her highlights from her time at NT Thunder she is one of those players that can win you a game and turn something out of nothing.
Her speed and agility can allow her break out of packs, and storm into the forward 50. Combine that with the promise that Sarah Rowe showed last season and with her speed, Machaelia could turn the Pies into a team that the opposition can’t catch.
“Michaela Roberts, who's actually from the Northern Territory, she's coming in and yeah she's just very composed and we can say that she's yeah she's got a bit of an X factor to her.
"Maybe keep an eye out for her I think, when she's on the field, she’s pretty cool to watch.”
Three Key Players
The reigning Collingwood best and fairest winner is a force to be reckoned with when she is fit and firing, she is a strong and fast small forward with the potential to win games off her own boot.
Look no further than the state of origin game back in 2017 to see how good of a player she is.
Her ability to share the ball around to and set her teammates up to score, as well has kicking a few goals of her own.
She puts her body on the line every game, and she knows how to hit the opposing side where it hurts, by kicking goals, or goal assists.
After having a strong VFLW season where she took out the leading goal kicker, and helped the Pies win the VFLW Premiership, if she can continue that form into the AFLW season,
Even though she missed the 2019 season with a nasty lis franc injury, she can play at either end of the ground, being a pillar in defence for the pies in 2018, and she was tied for leading goal kicker for the VFLW back in 2017, alongside Katie Brennan.
She made a massive impact in her first season of AFLW, in her first game of AFLW she was able to keep reigning leading goal kicker Darcy Vescio goalless in her first game of AFLW, which is no easy task.
She was a key player in Collingwood’s backline for 2018, being able to help with the transition out of the backline, and stopping the opposition from scoring.
Molloy turned 21 in December, so she won’t just be a key player in Collingwood’s side for this season, but for many years to come.
From watching her three previous seasons at Carlton, you can see why she was highly sort after by Collingwood, not just for her on-field attributes but her leadership off the field as well.
She is one of those link up players, where she is able help her team cleanly transition the ball out of the backline, whether she plays in the forward line or in the midfield, not to mention her ability to convert on the scoreboard.
When she starts in the centre, her ability to break out of the midfield and deliver the ball straight into the forward 50, just by using her strength or stay on her feet and pass off a clean handball to her teammate, is something that is a great thing to watch from the stands
She can play anywhere on the field, which can keep to opposition guessing, and her strength can make her hard to match up on when she goes into the midfield.
“I’ll probably run through the midfield that’s sort of where I played a lot of my football prior to AFLW," she said.
"Starting in juniors when I was a kid before I went to soccer and then when I came back, playing in St Kilda Sharks, I ran through the midfield a fair bit.
"So yeah, I mean, I think you could see me running through there, but potentially a bit forward but yeah, I'm easy.
"Steve needs me where ever he needs me, I'd be happy to play but yeah I try to play mainly midfield”