2022 preseason: the story so far

6 months ago

With over a month of the Collingwood Magpies’ preseason done and dusted, we chatted to the team about the highs and lows of 2022 preseason training so far.

Sophie Taylor

Christmas is coming, and so is the end of the 2021 portion of preseason training with just one more week before the Pies say their goodbyes to another year on the court. With so much happening both on and off the court during this year’s preseason training block, we sat down with head coach, Nicole Richardson, midcourter Kelsey Browne and incoming goaler, Sophie Garbin to chat about the last few weeks of training.

Preseason training is never easy, but starting back in late November has done the Magpies squad good with almost five weeks complete ahead of the Christmas break. With the return of Jodi-Ann Ward last week, the full 2022 squad is back together and raring to go, with Australian Diamonds goaler Garbin excited to continue the team bonding.

“It’s been good for me to get through the first few weeks of preseason and have everyone in… It’s quite rare that teams actually have all 10 players back before Christmas so that’s been really good,” Garbin explained. “I think that gives us a head start on other teams that don’t, especially because we’ve got myself and Maggie (Lind) coming in as new players this year.”

“I think the court’s been building from the first week that we came in and everyone’s been stepping it up each week, and we’re just excited to get back after Christmas and start to smash out the next couple of weeks before we get into the season.”

Speedy midcourter, Browne said she is excited to get stuck into 2022, with team bonding experiences at the HMAS Cerberus Navy base and The Summit camp changing things up from seasons past.

“It’s been a good opportunity to get away with the girls, I don’t think in preseasons before we’ve had the opportunity to go away twice and do things that really test us and challenge us as a team,” Browne said.

Head coach, 'Richo' explained that there were plenty of learnings that came out of the visit to The Summit camp visit on Tuesday, with the extensive obstacle course challenging the squad both physically and mentally.

“We came down for a night and a day of activities, just to challenge the girls and get them outside their comfort zone,” Richo said. “We finished off with an obstacle course - I reckon the girls have probably run about 10km or so up and down hills, in and out of water, through mud, carrying tyres, and then finished up with a little bit of fun on the water slide.

“(We’re) super impressed with the effort and the work ethic; the girls were challenged and they faced fears, it was really important for the group to come together.

“The aim of the day was to challenge the athletes, get to develop a little bit of trust with each other or further develop that trust in each other, and working together as a team.

“I think we really achieved that today, there were players outside their comfort zones, and they had the capacity to be able to lean on others to get them through the course.”

Browne finished off by explaining just how important preseason camp is for building greater connections both on and off the court.

“What you get out of preseason camps is a lot of learnings and we can take that into whatever we’re doing on the court.

“Hopefully it starts to build on the culture stuff that we’ve put in place over 2021, and with the introduction of a couple of new girls, I think 2022 is looking really exciting.”

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