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AFLW: Team named to kick off new season

AFLW: Meeting on enemy turf Watch the best answers from Collingwood AFLW coach Wayne Siekman, as he fronted the media at IKON Park alongside Carlton coach Damien Keeping.

The wait is almost over.

After a long and gruelling pre-season, Collingwood’s AFL Women’s team will finally run out for competitive points when it meets Carlton on Friday night.

The competition’s season-opener returns to the same venue, on the same weekend as last year, when a record 24,568 fans forced a lock-out at Carlton’s IKON Park.

A high number is expected again, and Collingwood coach Wayne Siekman has picked a team of 21 women eager to impress the football world.

“You’ll see a few things tomorrow night that no one has expected,” Siekman told the media on Thursday.

“The footy IQ from most of the players has increased… they’ve all conditioned themselves well and they’ve all improved their strength.

“The whole team’s body transformation has been amazing. They’ve turned themselves into athletes, not just local footballers.”

Everything you need to know: Check out our match-day information hub.

Five players will make their debuts for the Magpies on Friday evening.

While it’s a stark contrast to a whole team of debutants taking the field in last year’s clash, the nerves will clearly be present for Chloe Molloy, Jaimee Lambert, Iilish Ross, Sarah Dargan and Eliza Hynes.

Molloy, the highly-regarded niece of former Collingwood player Jarrod Molloy, is ready to embrace the big occasion.

“I’m pretty nervous, but hopefully I can transform those nerves into positive ones,” the No.3 draft pick told Collingwood Media.

“A year ago I was in the stands at IKON Park.

“To me, that was my future there right in front of me.”

Familiar Black and White bookends structure the team line-up for a clash against a Carlton side who has bolstered its squad after finishing fourth with three wins, three loses and a draw in 2017.

Stacey Livingstone returns as a key pillar at full back, All-Australian ruck Emma King is once again stationed in the middle, while Jasmine Garner returns to the full forward position which saw her become the competition’s first ever goal kicker this time last year.

In perhaps Siekman’s boldest positional move, Moana Hope has been picked on paper to start in the middle of the ground.

“She’s been training there (in the midfield) throughout the pre-season,” Siekman said.

“She’s got herself fit enough to play in there and will do so as is required for the team.”

Teams only tell the beginning of the story. What happens once the first ball is bounced on Friday night will not only define the match, but also set the tone for the remainder of the season.

AFL Women’s Round 1
Carlton v Collingwood
Friday 2 February, 7.45pm


B: Sophie Casey, Stacey Livingstone, Cecilia McIntosh
HB: Stephanie Chiocci, Caitlyn Edwards, Emma Grant
C: Moana Hope
HF: Brittany Bonicci, Sarah D’Arcy, Chloe Molloy
F: Christina Bernardi, Jasmine Garner, Jess Duffin
Foll: Emma King, Jaimee Lambert, Amelia Barden
Int: Iilish Ross, Eliza Hynes, Sarah Dargan, Melissa Kuys, Bree White
Emg: Ruby Schleicher, Holly Whitford

NEW: Chloe Molloy (19, Diamond Creek), Jaimee Lambert (25, Western Bulldogs), Iilish Ross (18, Wodonga / Murray U18), Eliza Hynes (26, Australian Volleyball Team), Sarah Dargan (18, Pascoe Vale / Calder U18)