Collingwood has completed its first official match simulation for 2024, going down to North Melbourne at the AIA Vitality Centre on Wednesday.

The Magpies took the hit-out as an opportunity to provide AFL level experience to a host of young players, with 10 senior Pies sitting out the clash.

After four quarters, the Roos ran out winners 102 to 88, excluding two scenario-based periods that saw the score adjusted and the opportunity for both sides to simulate defending a lead late in a game.

Ash Johnson and Reef McInnes kicked three majors each, while Patrick Lipinski kicked two early in the first quarter. Across the middle of the ground, Jordan De Goey was at his powerful best, while a quartet of new Pies in Lachie Schultz, Lachie Sullivan, Tew Jiath and Jack Bytel played their first minutes in black and white.

End-to-end connection

Although the scoreboard didn’t favour Collingwood in the end, the Magpies’ signature end-to-end ball movement was on display on numerous occasions. Whether it be a five handball, two kick coast-to-coast play that saw Bobby Hill kick a simple major from the goal square, or Patrick Lipinski’s first goal of the day that was thanks to movement off half-back and a Nick Daicos bullet-like inside-50. The Magpies showed glimpses of their very best. 


Sullivan, Schultz, Bytel and Jiath get busy

With two of the pair only signing on the dotted line last week, Collingwood’s quartet of new players played their first minutes in black and white. SSP signing Sullivan showed class through the midfield and was involved in several passages of play that resulted in goals and fellow SSP signing Jack Bytel was consistent off half-back.

Tew Jiath came into the game for the second half, and showcased just why he targeted by Collingwood recruiters at last year’s draft. Using his pace off half back he gathered a handball from Oscar Steene in the centre circle, before delivering a booming pass into the forward 50.

Schultz applied his trademark pressure early, wrapping up a North Melbourne defender in a ferocious tackle and forcing a throw in on centre wing. The 26-year-old then kicked his first goal for the Magpies in the third term.

Johnson/McInnes goals

Young forwards Ash Johnson and Reef McInnes both put their case forward for AFL exposure across 2024, after booting three goals each across the game. With Johnson’s contested marking capabilities and McInnes’ athleticism on display, the pair both provided a number of reasons for the Magpie Army to smile.

Schultz’s first goal and pressure game

After crossing over from Fremantle during the 2023 Trade Period, Lachie Schultz showed Collingwood fans exactly why he kicked 33 goals last season. Schultz brought a high level of pressure across the forward 50, and kicked his first goal from a perfect set shot on a 45-degree angle, in the third term.

Noble flies

John Noble took to the skies midway through the last term, providing photographers and footy fans alike something to smile about. The half-back in his sixth season at the Pies, lept on the back of North Melbourne’s Blake Drury on Collingwood’s forward 50 line. The play then ended in a Ash Johnson goal after Noble passed the ball to Joe Richards who then set up Johnson.

Magpies’ fans can catch their side in action next Tuesday evening against Richmond at Ikon Park. The two sides will play off for the inaugural Charity Shield, raising funds for Foodbank Victoria. You can find out more here.