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AFLW: A year of possibilities

AFLW pre season begins Hear from Head Coach Wayne Siekman as the AFLW players arrive back at the Holden Centre.

Collingwood’s AFL Women’s coach Wayne Siekman says he is excited for what 2019 has in store after his side’s pre-season program commenced on Wednesday night.

“We’ve just been waiting for this day to start and the girls are raring to go”, Siekman told

The team’s preparations for 2019 will follow a similar training program as last season, allowing for a balance between group training, strength and conditioning while also ensuring the players have appropriate time to rest and recover on their days off.

“We feel like we set up a really good program last year having the players here three nights a week, allowing them to have their weekends bar one where we have our camp”, Siekman explained.

The introduction of the club’s VFL Women’s side in 2018 proved a great success, with the team crowned minor premiers after the home and away season. Siekman acknowledges the important role of this side providing the club’s AFLW players with an opportunity to further develop their skills in the off-season.

Draftee Katie Lynch (facing the camera) joined the team for her first pre-season training run on Wednesday night. Photo: Luke Henry.

“The VFLW program has acted as their (the players) pre-season to work on skills and inefficiencies from AFLW season two and now they can set the bar even higher and hopefully we get an advantage over other teams who haven’t had that sort of program.”

Unfortunately, the Pies suffered two major losses during the VFLW season, as AFLW Rising Star Chloe Molloy (foot) and Mel Kuys (Achilles) fell victim to long-term injuries.

Siekman admits he is disappointed for the pair but notes their absence will provide opportunities for other players to step up.

“We are very fortunate that the AFL gave us the opportunity to have another player on our list. Effectively, we are very lucky to have 31 players including Chloe”, Siekman said.

Collingwood’s skipper Stephanie Chiocci is also eager to get back out on the field alongside her teammates. Recognising great depth in the revised list, she is extremely keen to see what the new talent will bring to the side.

You can't take the netballer out of the footballer. Just ask Sharni Layton. Photo: Luke Henry.

“That’s the thing that excites me the most is the fact that we retained all our draft picks from this year and we also welcome 11 new faces this year including girls who are getting a second chance from Brisbane with Jordyn Membrey and Nic Hildebrand and then we’ve gone to the draft and got the best talent available.”

Like Chiocci, Siekman is also looking forward to watching his team grow and develop not just as individual players but as a whole.

“If we can develop them, if they put in that extra hard work on their skills, concentrate and make the most of it, they will improve quickly but how quickly that happens, who knows? Only they, as athletes, can tell and us as a team”, Siekman said.

“Every team says they want to win the premiership and we all do. But I’m not going to put a ceiling on how far this group can go and if we can improve really quickly and develop quickly, who knows what’s possible.”

Coach Wayne Siekman joins Lynden Dunn (AFLW assistant coach) and Tarkyn Lockyer (Academy Coach) during Wednesday night's session. Photo: Luke Henry.