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Emerging leaders to follow captain Chiocci

Doco: Our Debut Take an inside look at Collingwood's groundbreaking inaugural AFL Women's league season. From round one disappointment to an exhilarating first victory, each moment is captured as we learn the stories behind this history-making group of footballers and support staff.

Inaugural Collingwood AFLW captain Steph Chiocci will head up a new-look leadership group in 2018 with Brittany Bonnici and Emma Grant set to aid as vice-captains.

The trio are joined by All-Australian ruck Emma King, dual code athlete Ash Brazill and forward Christina Bernardi, rounding out a six-person leadership group for the 2018 season.

Capping off an impressive maiden AFLW campaign, Chiocci also led VFLW side Diamond Creek to the Grand Final in 2017, as well as making the VFLW Team of the Year.

Elected as captain for a second season, Chiocci says it’s a privilege to lead the Magpies in 2018.

“I’m incredibly proud to be given the opportunity to continue to lead Collingwood’s AFL Women’s team in our second season,” Chiocci said.

“Leading alongside Britt, Christina, Ash and both Emma’s is an honour and I’m so excited to see their impact on the team this season.

Captain Steph Chiocci and vice-captains Emma Grant and Brittany Bonnici will lead the Collingwood charge in the 2018 AFL Women's season. Photo: Collingwood Media.

“Over the 2017 season, you could see how much the team had grown, and now with the players we’ve recruited and the hard yards we’ve put in over the pre-season, I’m excited to lead a team that’s heading in the right direction.”

Women’s Football Operations Manager Mathew James acknowledged that a larger leadership group would better represent the Magpies in 2018.

“We’ve grown from a four-person leadership group to a team of six in 2018 because we think with the list we retained from last year, our new draftees and elite cross-code athletes, we need a leadership group that reflects the make-up of our team,” James said.

“It gives us great confidence having a seasoned captain in Steph, who is not only committed to leading the team but also to mentoring the development of some of our younger leaders.

“Having our 2017 Rising Star nominee Britt Bonnici named vice-captain and All-Australian ruck Emma King included in the group gives us confidence that our young-guns are developing as both players and leaders.

“It also speaks volumes to see the inclusion of Ash Brazill who, having only joined our team in recent months, has clearly had an impact with her professionalism and approach to training.”