Collingwood will complete their pre-season campaign in Bendigo, hosting the Giants in one final practice match before the season proper.
The Pies will do battle with the Giants in a final blockbuster pre-season clash at Bendigo Stadium on Saturday night.
The hit-out comes off the back of the Pies' pre-season trip to Traralgon, where they came home with one win and one loss against the Queensland Firebirds and Adelaide Thunderbirds respectively.
The Giants come in to the match-up with pre-season victories over the Melbourne Vixens and Sunshine Coast Lightning under their belt, and most recently a thrilling 60-all draw with the NSW Swifts.
For the first time this pre-season the Magpies will have their full 10-woman playing squad, with star mid-courters Kelsey Browne and Ash Brazill set to return to the court for the first time since their respective knee injuries.
Browne strained the anterior cruciate ligament in her previously reconstructed left knee in Round 8 of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season, which then sidelined her for the backend of the season.
For Brazill, a Round 8 AFLW return marked 385 days since the cross-coder last competed, having torn her anterior cruciate ligament during the previous AFLW season.
Their exciting inclusions mean that Head Coach Nicole Richardson will have the full playing squad at her disposal, as well as providing the first opportunity for newly announced captains Geva Mentor (captain) and Brazill (vice-captain) to lead on court.
The squad will also be joined by training partner Maggie Lind, who has been dynamic through the mid-court throughout Collingwood's pre-season campaign.
The Giants will be without departed shooter Caitlin Basset, but won’t be lacking in the circle with Jo Harten, Keira Austin and youngster Sophie Dwyer shining in their pre-season hit-outs.
At the other end of the court, April Brandley now has a full pre-season under her belt to return alongside defensive stars Amy Parmenter and Kristiana Manu’a.
The Giants had the upper hand over the Pies in their two clashes of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season, the most recent a narrow 4-point victory in Round 11.
The Pies pushed the Giants right until the end, but it was ultimately the Giants who held their nerve in a tense final quarter to go on to play finals netball.
With Round 1 just two weeks away, both teams will be looking to set the tone for their 2021 campaign.
Collingwood v Giants
Saturday 17 April, 7pm
Limited tickets are still available and won’t be available on the door, so don’t miss out and secure yours here.
Jodi Ann Ward