AFLW Season 7 Glass Half Full/Empty: Collingwood
IN a new approach to the AFL Women’s end of season reviews, Rookie Me Central casts both a glass half full and half empty lens over each side’s campaigns.
Today’s team is Collingwood, who had their ups and downs on the way to a semi-final exit.
GLASS HALF FULL
Defence is the star of the show
The strongest aspect of Collingwood’s game this season was its defence. Spearheaded by Stacey Livingstone and aided by the likes of Lauren Butler and Jordyn Allen, they were the backbone of the team this season and kept the Pies in a number of games.
The emergence of Eliza James
One player who really came to the fore in Season 7 was Eliza James. Particularly towards the back end of the season, she emerged as a real scoring target for the Pies. Collingwood fans will not be forgetting her four-goal haul in the elimination final any time soon.
The versatility of Sabrina Frederick
Sabrina Frederick was another player who really added to her game in Season 7. Particularly towards the back end of the season, she really became a reliable ruck option for Collingwood, whereas in the past she was more effective as a stay at home forward.
The return of Davey and Bonnici
Though more looking to the future, there is still the return of Bri Davey and Brit Bonnici to look forward to in 2023. The Pies really missed the pair this year, so they will be a welcome return for the Collingwood faithful next season.
GLASS HALF EMPTY
Fell short of truly competing again
With the change in finals format Collingwood did not get eliminated at exactly the same point as they did in Season 6, but they essentially did as they were still two wins away from a Grand Final. After making the preliminary final in Season 5, it looks to be on a downward slope, but they were missing Davey and Bonnici for effectively both seasons.
Do they have too many talls?
One thing about particularly Collingwood’s forward line is that it is very tall, and there are serious questions about whether there is a spot for them all. Alongside Frederick, there is the likes of Imogen Barnett and Olivia Barber who both bounced in and out of the side this year, which suggests there is too many of them to fit into Collingwood’s forward line to get the balance right between the different forward heights.
Need to strengthen attack
Although Collingwood has the attacking options, they need to increase the volume of goals coming from those targets. They only kicked more than four goals in a game four times this season, and three of those was against teams that ultimately did not make finals (the other being against the Bulldogs in the elimination final).
Season 7 was always going to be an up and down year for Collingwood. The black and white started strong, but ultimately could not progress any further than they did in Season 6. This season was always going to be a tricky one without Davey and Bonnici, but those two are back next year and with the emergence of a few players like James things are looking up for Magpie fans.