2023 Finals Review: Collingwood Wheelchair Football Team

19 Sep 2023

Qualifying Final (QF) v Hawthorn

Starting their finals campaign against an extremely strong Hawthorn side, the Collingwood Football Club’s senior wheelchair team were ready for a tough battle in their first qualifying final match.

The match was important for the Pies as it was their first chance at securing a spot in the 2023 Victorian Wheelchair Football League (VWFL) Grand Final.

Before the match, the team discussed making smart decisions when moving the ball forward and the importance of keeping possession against an impressive Hawthorn outfit.

The QF started off hot, with Hawthorn leaving nothing on the table from the jump. Despite the Pies being in this position many times before it was clear Hawthorn were too strong with the match ending in a disappointing 76 point loss.

The dream wasn’t over for Collingwood with the team getting a second chance in the preliminary final match against Richmond shortly after.


Preliminary Final (PF) v Richmond

Feeling positive about the opportunity to try again, the Pies maintained the ‘never quit attitude’ they fostered throughout the season heading into the PF against Richmond.

Coach Andrew Paddle had only two key messages for the team before the match; move the ball fast and maintain defensive pressure. The Pies knew they needed to achieve this to create scoring opportunities and to ensure they didn’t lose sight of their direct opponents when defending.

Accuracy around goals was also going to be crucial as this was their last chance at securing a place in the VWFL Grand Final.

The game was toe-to-toe throughout and Collingwood pushed right to the very end but unfortunately couldn’t finish the way they had hoped, resulting in a heartbreaking four point loss.

The team were disappointed with the result of their finals campaign but already look to next season to work on their weaknesses and maximise their strengths.

2024 looks Black & White. Go Pies!


Qualifying Final (QF) v Hawthorn

Looking to land themselves in the 2023 CWFL Grand Final, the Pies Community Wheelchair Team were set to play against Hawthorn in their first finals match of the day.

The pre-game message from Coach Andrew Paddle was that the team needed to be strong in defence to ensure the Hawks couldn’t score from centre stoppages, with the backs also needing to push up the court to set up blocks for the forwards to create scoring opportunities.

Collingwood performed well and were able to secure the win and progress into the Preliminary Final (PF) against Richmond later in the day.

Brett Newman had a stellar performance scoring eight goals with the help of Jack Elliot who was able to create space for his teammates by putting blocks on inside the forward half. Matthew Blunt was also crucial in the centre giving his teammates first access to the ball.


Preliminary Final (PF) v Richmond

Due to the results of the VWFL qualifying final, the CWFL team moved into their preliminary final against Richmond with the support of the senior team on the sidelines and in their huddle.

The main messages for the Pies CWFL team were to make the most of their goal scoring opportunities and to use the full court when bringing the ball from the defensive end.

The team were also mindful that they needed to be aware of their energy levels as this was to be their second hard fought battle of the day.

Needing to win both their QF and PF to secure a spot in the Grand Final, the team knew this was it.

In true Collingwood fashion, the CWFL team didn’t stop fighting until the final buzzer.

Unfortunately, the team were not able to obtain the opportunities they needed in the forward line to secure the win which put an end to their grand final hopes.

Despite the loss, there are several positives to take away from season 2023 in the CWFL and the team look forward to going even further in 2024.



Victorian Wheelchair Football League (VWFL)

QF v Hawthorn

Collingwood:    1.1      3.2     4.2      6.4 (40)

Hawthorn:        4.0      8.2      12.5     18.8 (116)


Collingwood: Perito 2, Jankovski 2, Christian 2.

Hawthorn: Hill 10, Broadbent 8.

PF v Richmond

Collingwood:    2.2      4.3     7.5      11.5 (71)

Richmond:         5.0      7.0      10.1     12.3 (75)


Collingwood: Perito 6, Jankovski 5.

Richmond: Henderson 8, Mavroudis 3, Kotsanas.


Community Wheelchair Football League (CWFL)

QF v Hawthorn

Collingwood:    2.2      6.2     8.3      9.9 (63)

Hawthorn:        1.0      1.3      3.4     4.5 (29)


Collingwood: Newman 8, Elliott.

Hawthorn: Ralph 4.


PF v Richmond

Collingwood:    1.1      2.1     3.2      3.5 (23)

Richmond:         2.2      2.4      4.5     5.5 (35)


Collingwood: Elliott 2, Newman.

Richmond: Titford 3, Secombe 2.