Collingwood will return to the AFLW season opener against Carlton this year determined to prove they can match it with the league’s top teams.
The Magpies made their first finals appearance in a truncated 2020 season, losing to North Melbourne by two points, and have maintained a relatively consistent squad.
Ahead of Thursday’s clash with the Blues, who are among the premiership favourites, coach Steve Symonds said his team was still “building” but was quietly confident about what they could achieve.
“We think our best is good enough to be up there with the top teams, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“It’s just our consistency as we go along and how we put that together.
“So we’ve got no limits about what we’re trying to do.
“We’re just keeping it pretty simple. We just want to get better each week and see where it leads us.”
Former Blues skipper Bri Davey, who crossed to Collingwood at the end of 2019, has been elevated to co-captaincy alongside Steph Chiocci.
“We really complement each other really well … we balance each other out,” Chiocci said.
“Bri probably says she gets a bit cranky every now and then.
“I’m a bit more positive and then I’m a little bit softer (and) she can be really hard and have those hard conversations.”
Chiocci expected Davey, who will pinch-hit up forward this season, to again receive a heated reception from her former teammates.
“I’ve no doubt some of them will get a little bit lippy, and it’ll be really physical but good luck taking Bri on, I say,” she said.
Symonds and Chiocci both said the Magpies had moved on from last year’s fiery match-up between defender Stacey Livingstone and Blues star Tayla Harris.
Collingwood return to the season opener after being bumped for newcomers Richmond last year..
This season there will be an entry fee for AFLW games for the first time.
Richmond’s home game against Brisbane – at 50 per cent capacity – sold out when tickets went on sale on Monday and Chiocci was confident the same would happen for the season opener.
“I had no doubt that people will pay to come and see us play,” Chiocci said.
“We obviously love what we do and we have really passionate supporters so for me it was a no-brainer to make it a ticketed event.
“You see today that Brisbane and Richmond’s game sold out within an hour, so if that’s not telling us good things about women’s football I don’t know what is.”