2022 VFLW Season Preview – Collingwood

THE 2022 VFL Women’s season is almost here, so it is time to take a look at each of the competing teams and see where they sit as another season approaches. Today, Rookie Me Central takes a look at Collingwood, who were the team to beat in 2021.

The 2021 season was as about as picture perfect as you can get for the Pies.

Well, almost.

The Magpies went through the home and away season undefeated to finish clear on top of the ladder.

They then beat the Cats and Bombers to find themselves back in another Grand Final, with a chance to defend their 2019 Grand Final win after no season in 2020.

Unfortunately an increase in Covid cases in Victoria at the time meant that the state was in lockdown and the Grand Final was never able to be played, and we will never know who the 2021 Premiers were going to be.

But as coach Chloe McMillan said, that was then, and 2022 is a new season.

“There was still a game to play so we’re not quite sure what could have happened on Grand Final day, but the positives from that is that we were able to play footy for as long as we did,” she said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t get the Grand Final away but I think if you look at it, ask anyone would you rather play a whole season and miss one game or not play at all, we would have definitely taken those. So it’s a good opportunity for us to take that as experience and move forward to next year. We don’t really keep looking back at all, we just want to move forward and see where we get to.”

Vice-captain Sarah King acknowledged the frustrating bits of the situation but also the positives out of where they found themselves.

“Yeah it’s definitely been challenging especially because we feel like we could have potentially won a couple of flags in between there but it’s a good challenge, it’s character building. We’ll get through it and hopefully do alright this year as well.”

Heading into 2022, McMillan said that preseason had been going very well, with one young star catching her eye out on the track.

“Preseason’s been going really well. It’s been exciting to get back to training and get around the group, so that’s been really good. There’s been a few girls that have been standing out, obviously as a coach you don’t like to pinpoint anyone. Elizabeth Jackson’s been going really well, someone who’s a younger player that’s sort of found their feet a little bit now for preseason and really ready to make impact, so she is someone I’m really looking forward to seeing. And the whole group’s been training really well, so I don’t really want to point out anyone else.”

Although the list is pretty consistent as compared to what the 2021 list was, there are a few new faces running out in black and white this season.

Former Pie Nicole Hales is back this year, after heading down the freeway to Casey for a year.

Monique DeMatteo has also come across to the Pies. She was playing in the VFLW for Essendon before taking last year off and is getting back into it.

Rhiannon Busch is also a new recruit to the side for 2022 and who’s impressed King. The Pies had one practice match heading into the season, which was against North.

McMillan was happy with how the match went, but noted there were still things that her side needed to work on. King said that the match was a bit scrappy but the team started to build towards the end and they learnt a few things.

King has developed a bit of a reputation amongst the VFLW community for her dancing while on the mark. With the introduction of the stand rule into the VFLW this season, some may be wondering whether we have seen the last of dance moves on the mark. She is certainly trying to come up with ways to work around the rule.

“Yeah I kind of feel a bit personally attacked by the stand on the mark rule,” King said. “I think I can work my way around it by not being the person on the mark but I’ll see how I go. It might just have to be audio instead of visual performance from me.”

When asked whether the ultimate goal for 2022 was to go back to back, King said the players were determined to finally get a chance to play off for a premiership.

“Yeah that would definitely be nice. I think definitely a good reward for some girls who have been here for a while and hopefully get rewarded for it.”

When asked the same question, McMillan had a slightly different response.

“You win some, you lose some. Like I don’t think winning is everything for us at the moment, we just want to keep our players improving and keep enjoying football for what it is,” McMillan said. “I think if you put too much pressure on yourself for trying to have an end goal, you sort of get capped at that. “So we’re happy to just take the season as it comes and it’s going to change, we’re going to have to adapt as best we can so whatever happens happens, and yeah we’ll just go from there.”

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