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AFLW: Coach rapt with camp

Collingwood’s AFL Women’s head coach, Wayne Siekman, says last weekend’s pre-season camp in the Latrobe Valley was a huge success.

“It has put us in a good position and allows us to now get focused on playing footy,” Siekman told

Despite the wet and rainy conditions, it was a great opportunity for both the players and coaching staff to bond and allowed them to get to know one another off the field.

“With AFLW, we’re restricted with time and we only get to train for a certain number of hours per week,” Siekman said.

“To be able to incorporate a camp into those hours, it allows you to have a bit of time to get to know them a bit quicker and better.

“Football is all about working together and being on the same page, so if you’ve got the trust of your teammates it goes a long way.”  

Over the course of the weekend, the team engaged in standard football drills but also a range of strength and conditioning training as well as leadership and team bonding activities.

“As a bit of fun, each team had a 2-3kg watermelon, which they had to take everywhere they went during the camp,” Siekman said.

“This required them to share the load during each different activity, which is again about working altogether.”

Watermelons were the stars of the camp! (Pic credit: Luke Henry)

The team was inspired by the presence of Aboriginal elder Uncle Lloyd Hood, whose stories of hardship helped the players realise just how fortunate they are not only as elite athletes but also in life.

The Magpies’ newly appointed General Manager of Women’s Sport, Jane Woodlands-Thompson, also attended the camp to provide insight into her experience within a high-performance culture, while Player Welfare Manager Nick Maxwell outlined the club’s professional values.

With round one only nine weeks away, Siekman notes the team’s training program will intensify leading into Christmas with more match-simulation exercises and a greater focus on developing individual roles on field.

“It all ramps up now and there’s plenty of balls in hands,” he said.

“The more developed we can get as a team, then the more improvement we can have both as a team and individual players, and the more cohesion we will have as a side.”

Cecilia McIntosh runs alongside Nick Maxwell (Pic credit: Luke Henry)