It’s official.

Collingwood is back in the September action, and the club’s first match of the 2018 finals series is locked in.

The Magpies will take on the West Coast Eagles at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Saturday 8 September at 6.10pm AWST (8.10pm AEST).

Further details about the match, ticketing, training times and other key information will be distributed as soon as it comes to hand.

What happens next?
All eight teams who have qualified for the finals will not play on the coming weekend, instead enjoying time off for players to rest their bodies and prepare for the matches ahead.

Who do the other teams play?
Richmond v Hawthorn
First Qualifying Final
Thursday 6 September
MCG, 7.20pm

Melbourne v Geelong
First Elimination Final
Friday 7 September
MCG, 7.50pm

Sydney v Greater Western Sydney
Second Elimination Final
Saturday 8 September
SCG, 4.20pm

West Coast v Collingwood
Second Qualifying Final
Saturday 8 September
Optus Stadium, 6.10pm (AWST) / 8.10pm (AEST)

How do the finals work?
Since 2000, the AFL finals series has run over four weeks in September.

The teams that finish in the top four are afforded a double chance. This means they are guaranteed to play in two finals, and at least one final at their home ground. Should they win their first final (a Qualifying Final), they will proceed to a Preliminary Final and enjoy a week off between games. Should they lose their first final (a Qualifying Final), they will use their second chance in a Semi-Final the following week.

The teams that finish between fifth and eighth on the ladder do not receive a double chance. Any loss will end their finals campaign there and then. These teams meet in what is known as an Elimination Final in week one, and the two winners go on to play the losers of the Qualifying Finals in the Semi-Finals during the second week.

The two teams that advance to the Preliminary Final are given a week off, and go on to play the two winners of the Semi-Finals.

The two winners of the Preliminary Finals meet in the Grand Final, and the winner of the Grand Final is crowned the premiership team.

When did Collingwood last play in the finals?
Collingwood has not been a part of the September action since 2013, when it lost an Elimination Final against Port Adelaide.

The 2013 campaign was the Magpies’ eighth consecutive finals series, having played at least one final in each year between 2006 and 2013. During this time, Collingwood reached five Preliminary Finals, two Grand Finals and won one premiership, against St Kilda in 2010.

Prior to this, Collingwood made the 2002 and 2003 Grand Finals, losing to Brisbane on both occasions.

In total, the Magpies have won 15 VFL / AFL premierships to go with their VFA premiership of 1896.

What’s the latest with the VFL team?
Collingwood’s VFL team will play against Essendon at North Port Oval in Port Melbourne on Sunday 2 September in the First Elimination Final.

The winner of this match will face the loser of the First Qualifying Final between Richmond and Williamstown, while the loser will end their 2018 campaign.

The fact the VFL team is playing in finals alongside the AFL team is important, as it gives the playing list continuity and provides all players the chance to stay match fit and press their claims for a promotion into the senior side during September.

Importantly, it gives the club’s VFL team a chance to win its first premiership since its rebirth as a stand alone team in 2008. The VFL Magpies have featured in each of the past five VFL finals series, and reached Preliminary Finals in 2009 and 2016.

VFLW Magpies chase history
Collingwood’s VFL Women’s team has finished its first year in the competition on top of the ladder – a mighty achievement from coach Penny Cula-Reid and her team.

The VFLW Magpies will face Hawthorn in a top of the table First Semi-Final on Saturday 8 September at North Port Oval.

Be there to support the club’s VFLW team as they look continue their remarkable run during their inaugural season in the competition.