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AFLW team: Star defender returns

Sam Gastin  March 16, 2017 5:00 PM

AFLW dares to dream Listen to key defender Nicola Stevens as she reviews Collingwood's win over Greater Western Sydney at the Holden Centre on Sunday.
Coach Wayne Siekman believes round seven inclusion Cecilia McIntosh is one of the best small defenders in the competition. Photo: AFL Media.

Coach Wayne Siekman believes round seven inclusion Cecilia McIntosh is one of the best small defenders in the competition. Photo: AFL Media.

Collingwood coach Wayne Siekman will welcome back into the side a player he believes is the best small defender in the AFL Women’s competition.

Cecilia McIntosh returns from a hamstring injury on Sunday when the Magpies clash with Adelaide at the Holden Centre.

Siekman said he believes the inclusion of the McIntosh may help limit the influence of a talented Crows forwardline.

“Her pace is going to help us against a side that is one of the best in the league,” the coach told Collingwood Media on Thursday.

“She’s the best small defender in our team and probably the best small defender in the comp based on who she’s played on and how many goals she’s conceded.”

The unlucky Magpie is Penny Cula-Reid. The 29-year-old impressed coaches last week, yet has been unable to hold her spot in the team.

“It was great to see Penny out there. It was a special moment for her to play in a winning side,” Siekman said.

“It’s a team sport and now that Cecilia is available, she gets that spot back.”

Playing on a Sunday for the second-straight week, Collingwood will once again wait until after a Thursday night training session to determine its final team.

Ruck Ruby Schleicher and mid/forward Georgia Walker have been included in a 24-player squad and may receive the opportunity to play in the final game of the home and away season.

A slim chance remains for the Magpies’ to play in the Grand Final in a weeks’ time. However with fate sitting in the hands of other teams, Siekman believes the weekend’s goal will be simply to continue the club’s winning form.

“We’re playing against one of the best teams in the comp and we’ve got a chance to claim a big scalp,” he said.

“We want to show we’ve got momentum that we can take into next year.

“Melbourne play (on Saturday) and if they win, they can eliminate us.

“We can’t control that. We can only control our game. We want to beat Adelaide and show that we’re on the right track with this list and this club going forward into 2018.”

Collingwood v Adelaide
Saturday 18 March, 2017
Holden Centre, 1.35pm

Collingwood SQUAD
B: Cecilia McIntosh, Stacey Livingstone, Tara Morgan
HB: Emma Grant, Nicola Stevens, Meg Hutchins
C: Amelia Barden
HF: Steph Chiocci, Sarah D’Arcy, Jessica Cameron
F: Christina Bernardi, Moana Hope, Jasmine Garner
Foll: Emma King, Alicia Eva, Brittany Bonnici
Int (from): Georgia Walker, Caitlyn Edwards, Lauren Tesoriero, Melissa Kuys, Ruby Schleicher, Sophie Casey, Lou Wotton, Bree White

Adelaide SQUAD
B: Deni Varnhagen, Talia Radan, Dayna Cox
HB: Anne Hatchard, Angela Foley, Stevie-Lee Thompson
C: Courtney Cramey
HF: Ebony Marinoff, Erin Phillips, Jessica Sedunary
F: Kellie Gibson, Sarah Perkins, Rachael Killian
Foll: Rhiannon Metcalfe, Justine Mules, Chelsea Randall
Int (from): Abbey Holmes, Georgia Bevan, Jenna McCormick, Sally Riley, Monique Hollick, Heather Anderson, Lauren O’Shea, Sarah Allan