Eight fixed in Pies’ future

8 months ago

Collingwood’s netball team has secured its squad of 10 for the 2022 season, following the re-signing of eight players.

Alanna Mullan

Geva Mentor, Ash Brazill, Kelsey Browne, Jodi-Ann Ward, Shimona Nelson and Molly Jovic have today all penned two-year contracts which will see them remain Magpies until the end of 2023. Gabrielle Sinclair and Jacqui Newton have both signed one-year deals.

The eight join new recruits Sophie Garbin and Maggie Lind whose signings were announced on Friday evening.

In her third season as captain, Mentor joined the prestigious 200 games club and featured in all but one game in 2021. The Magpies’ dual best and fairest winner will gear up for her 15th season in Australian netball next year.

Following a year on the sidelines with a knee injury, Brazill returned in 2021 playing all but one match.

As a foundation Magpie, the 31-year-old has made the most Super Netball appearances for the club with a total of 57 games across five seasons. The Pies’ cross-coder also re-signed on a two-year contract with the club’s AFLW squad earlier this year.

Mentor, an English Rose and Brazill, an Australian Diamond, are currently training with their respective squads ahead of October’s international series in Perth.

As the Pies’ 2021 best and fairest, Ward finished in the league’s top five for interceptions (34), deflections (83) and gains (71), contributing to her selection in the Nissan Net Points Team of the Year (718 points).

Returning from a knee injury, Browne was a consistent contributor to Collingwood’s mid-court in 2021 recording the third most centre pass receives in the league (267) which saw her awarded the club’s runner-up best and fairest alongside Jamaican shooter, Shimona Nelson.

2021 was Nelson’s breakout season with the 22-year-old scoring the second most goals in the league (614) at 94 per cent efficiency.

Jovic continued to impress with 265 feeds and 167 assists which saw her round out the Pies’ top five in the best and fairest count.

As the Pies’ go-to goal-attack, Sinclair recorded 28 super shots this season as well as 245 feeds.

Newton, who joined the club this season, contributed 21 deflections across nine appearances in the Pies’ defensive end and had a breakout game in round two with six rebounds and deflections, respectively.

The long term commitment of Mentor, Brazill, Ward, Browne, Nelson, Jovic and Garbin reflects that of Collingwood head coach Nicole Richardson who has also recently extended her contract with the club for another two seasons.

Richardson said she is thrilled with today’s display of commitment.

“We are delighted to have finalised our squad for 2022,” Richardson said.

“Each player has played a key role in establishing a solid foundation for this club and their signatures today not only provide great stability, but also demonstrates their commitment and belief in our program.

“With multiple players committing for two years, we are pleased to secure the future of our club and they will all play crucial roles in ensuring we are best positioned to achieve success in 2022 and beyond.”

In other contract news, Collingwood has today informed defensive mid-courter Melissa Bragg and goaler Kalifa McCollin that they will not be offered contracts for the 2022 season.

Bragg first signed with the Pies as a training partner in 2018 and made her Super Netball debut in round five that same year. Elevated to the club’s senior list in 2020, she made 26 appearances in the black and white.

The 26-year-old was also a member of Collingwood’s 2019 Super Club championship side and was crowned a premiership player in the club’s ANL side, the Tasmanian Magpies in 2018. She went on to captain the Tassie Magpies in 2019.

Joining the Pies in 2021, McCollin made her debut in round one and was called upon on seven occasion this season, shooting a total of 31 goals.

“We would like to thank both Mel and Kalifa for their contributions to our program,” Richardson said.

“We’ve been lucky to have Mel with us for the last four years and even though we’ve had a short time with Kalifa, they’ve both been valuable members of our team and we wish them all the best for the future.”

Collingwood’s Super Netball program will return to the Holden Centre for pre-season training in December.

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